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It took a lovely day spent on Phra Ae beach in Thailand to hammer home how dangerous the sun can be if we are not careful. For a few dollars, we rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella. We stayed under the umbrella and slathered on the sunblock. But after several pleasant hours enjoying the sand and sea, we ended up with sun poisoning. This necessitated us changing some plans and staying inside a hotel room for a couple of days.
We were painfully reminded how important it is to remember the dangers of prolonged sun exposure. While getting some sun can be great for vitamin D, too much of it can lead to serious health problems like skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with over 5 million cases diagnosed each year. So, it’s essential to take steps to protect your skin while enjoying outdoor activities.
One of the most common ways people protect themselves from the sun is by using sunblock.
While sunblock is effective in preventing sunburn, it only protects against UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburn, but not UVA rays, which can lead to long-term damage like premature aging and skin cancer.
It is important to reapply sunblock every few hours. It may not provide full protection when sweating or swimming.
That’s where rash guard shirts come in. These shirts, typically made of spandex and nylon, offer a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating of 50, which means they block 98% of UV radiation.
Unlike sunblock, rash guard shirts don’t need to be reapplied and offer full protection even when wet. They’re also comfortable to wear and can be stylish.
For the past nine years, we have always packed our rash guard shirts with us when we travel.
Children are especially vulnerable to the dangers of sunburn and long-term sun exposure. Their skin is more delicate and sensitive than adults, making them more susceptible to burns and skin damage. Sunburns in children can be particularly painful and can lead to more serious health problems later in life, such as skin cancer.
In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, getting five or more sunburns during childhood increases the risk of melanoma by 80%. This statistic alone highlights the importance of protecting children from the sun and being proactive about sun safety measures.
It’s crucial to make sun protection a habit for children from a young age. Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, dressing them in protective clothing, and encouraging them to seek shade during the hottest parts of the day are all simple yet effective ways to reduce their risk of sunburn and skin damage.
Additionally, incorporating sun protection measures into everyday routines, like applying sunscreen before school or wearing a hat during recess, can help children form good habits that they can carry with them into adulthood.
Rash guard shirts for children are a must. Get them in the habit of wearing one outside at a young age and you will enjoy peace of mind when they are older.
Here are some good ways to limit sun exposure:
- Seek shade: Whenever possible, stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear a hat: A wide-brimmed hat can provide extra protection for your face and neck.
- Use sunglasses: Sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and also prevent squinting, which can cause wrinkles.
- Cover-up: When you’re not in the water, wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing can offer an additional layer of protection.
- Be aware of reflective surfaces: Water, sand, and even snow can reflect UV rays, increasing your exposure. That was our problem on the beach of Thailand. We were under an umbrella, but the reflection off the sand burned us.
While the sun can be enjoyable, it’s important to take it seriously. By using a combination of sunblock, rash guard shirts, and other sun protection strategies, you can reduce your risk of skin damage and cancer while still enjoying outdoor activities. So, don’t forget to pack your rash guard shirt and other protective gear before your next outdoor adventure!