Sun Safety: Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap
Summer fun in the sun gets under way each year with the arrival of the Memorial Day weekend. That’s why the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors.
Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer in the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than 2 million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers in the U.S.
Fortunately, skin cancer can be prevented with proper protection when outdoors. The American Cancer Society’s skin cancer prevention slogan provides an easy way to remember the basics of being safe in the sun:
Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen
- Slap on a hat
- Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes and sensitive skin around them
Other important steps include:
- Do not burn or tan
- Seek shade when you can
- Use extra caution near water and sand
- Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sun, especially when the sun’s rays are most intense, generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Protect your skin even on cool or cloudy days
- Sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher is best
- Use the UV Index forecast to help protect yourself from harmful UV exposure (A higher UV Index on a scale from 1 to 11+ means more skin damaging UV radiation is reaching the earth)
Being safe in the sun isn’t only for kids. The American Cancer Society cautions that protection from intense UV radiation should be a life-long practice for everyone. Take advantage and begin the good habits of Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap.