Don’t forget UV safety this summer!

  • With this summer weather, everyone wants to be outside. But don’t forget about UV safety when you’re enjoying the sunshine.
  • “I see a lot of people this time of year, when it starts to get really hot,” said
    Tracy Ramsey, a Family Nurse Practitioner at Lawrence County Memorial’s
    Primary Care Clinic. “Sometimes they don’t realize how much they’ve been out in
    the sun. They come in sunburned and they’re going to be miserable.”
  • Remember, your skin is your body’s largest organ, and protects you from heat, sunlight, injury and infection. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as few as 15 minutes.
  • “Protection from the sun, lots of it, is important,” Ramsey said. “Hats, clothing, lotions. You need to use anything like that you can get your hands on to keep the sun off of you.”
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Every year, nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer at a cost of more than $8 billion.
  • The strength of the UV rays reaching the ground depends on a number of
    factors, experts say. These include:
    • Time of day: UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Season of the year: UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months,
    although this is less of a factor near the equator.
    • Distance from the equator: UV exposure goes down as you get further from
    the equator.
    • Altitude: More UV rays can reach the ground at higher elevations.
    • Cloud cover: The effect of clouds can vary. Sometimes cloud cover blocks some UV from the sun and lowers exposure, while some types of clouds can reflect UV and increase exposure. What’s important to know is that UV rays can get through, even on a cloudy day.
    • Reflection off surfaces: UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand,
    snow, pavement or grass, leading to an increase in UV exposure.
  • For more information on UV safety, click here or call Lawrence County Memorial Hospital at (618) 943-1000.