Each year, the Friday before Memorial Day is dubbed as “Don’t Fry Day” in order to encourage sun safety awareness. This is especially important because many people head off to the beach for Memorial Day weekend.
What is Don’t Fry Day?
The purpose of Don’t Fry Day to is encourage people to stay safe when in the sun and remind them to protect their skin! Skin cancer, caused by too much sun exposure, is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Today is a day to remind people to enjoy outdoor activities, but to do it while using sun safety.
Practicing Sun Safety
The following tips will help you practice sun safety and lower your risk of developing skin cancer:
- Do Not Burn: Being overexposed to sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer
- Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds: UV light from tanning beds and sun causes skin cancer and premature wrinkling. If you want to look tan, use a sunless tanner instead.
- Cover up: Wear protective clothing, such as a sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses when possible.
- Use Umbrellas/Take Advantage of Shade: Look for shade when appropriate. Take extra caution between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, those are when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
- Apply Sunscreen: Generously apply sunscreen to ALL exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. Make sure it provides broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Always reapply every 2 hours, even on cloudy days, especially after swimming or sweating.
- Use Extra Caution When You Are Near Water, Snow, or Sand: Each of these can reflect the sun’s damaging rays, which increases the chance of you developing sunburn.
- Get Vitamin D Safely: We all know that the sun supplies us with Vitamin D, but you should stick to safer options to get your needed dosage. Getting vitamin D through your diet, including supplements and food fortified with vitamin D. Do not rely on sun exposure or indoor tanning as a source.
- Check the UV Index: Before you go outside it is important to check the UV index for the day. This provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways which prevent too much sun exposure.
So enjoy the sun this Memorial Day Weekend, but remember to stay safe to avoid UV damage to your skin!