If you’re planning on spending increased amounts of time outside this summer, then Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) wants you to protect your skin. Prolonged exposure in the sun can lead to sunburn, skin cancer, collagen deterioration (wrinkles and saggy skin) and heat-related illnesses like heat stroke.
CDPH recommends the following tips to help protect everyone – especially children, pets and the elderly – from sunburn, skin cancer, and heat-related illnesses:
- Set time limits for being outdoors – The strongest UV rays from the sun occur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. March through October, and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. November through February. Seek shade during these hours under umbrellas, trees, or other shelters.
- Always use sunscreen or other sun protection – Apply a thick layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Physical sun protection like wide-brim hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and pants are also great for blocking harmful UV rays.
- Start sun protection at an early age – Damage from exposure to UV rays builds up over time, and the skin of infants, children and the elderly are more sensitive to that damage. Always be mindful of their exposure to the sun, and remember to watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Keep an eye on pets & limit their outdoor time too – Just like people, pets can get sunburn, skin cancer, heat exhaustion or stroke, and dehydration too. Pet-specific sunscreens can help your companion stay safe from harmful UV rays during extended trips outside. Always provide plenty of water for your pets, and keep them indoors during the hottest parts of the day (typically 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) And NEVER leave your pets alone in a parked car.
- Avoid indoor tanning – Any change in the color of your skin means that your skin has been damaged on a cellular level. UV rays from tanning beds and other indoor lights cause just as much damage to your skin as the sun.
For more information on safe sun exposure for you and your family, please visit the following links:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- What is Skin Cancer?
- How Can I Protect My Children from the Sun?
- Sun Safety
- Sun Exposure for Travelers
- Sun Safety Tips for Men
- Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather
- Heat Stress in Older Adults
Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)
American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
American Veterinary Medical Associations (AVMA)
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.