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Consider sun safety tips

By Fallon Foster
When it comes to July the first thing you think about is Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions.  But July is more than just fireworks, barbecues and etc… It’s also associated with sun safety so as you are out embarking on all the fun activates July has to offer consider some of these sun safety tips:
• Keep in mind the sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
• Remember that UV rays bounce off sand, concrete, and water.
• Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun.
• Sunscreens need to be applied liberally and evenly over all exposed areas.
Apply a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher whenever you’re outdoors. To achieve adequate UV protection you should use products that provide broad spectrum protection, which means protection against both UVB and UVA rays. For broad spectrum protection, look for products that provide an SPF of at least 15 and contain ingredients like Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) or zinc oxide.
• For children, the SSA recommends sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.
• Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often.
• Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off.
• Provide complete sunscreen coverage for your skin (including neck, ears and lips!).
• For people with thin or thinning hair, apply sunscreen to the scalp as well.
• Remember stay in the shade whenever possible!

Fallon Foster is County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences at the Orange County Texas A&M AgriLlife Extension Service.