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Summer Sun Safety Month – August 2024

Summer Sun Safety Month is observed in August in the United States. Summer is the time of year when people spend more time outdoors. Whether swimming in the pool, going to the beach, or strolling in the park, summer is the best time. But, this doesn’t mean there are no consequences. Being outside for a long time results in more sun exposure. And, this can be bad for your health. The month is a reminder of why you need to stay safe while enjoying the summer.

History of Summer Sun Safety Month

Summer Sun Safety Month is observed as a reminder to keep yourself safe and healthy in the sun during the summer. Sunlight is essential for your body to produce vitamin D. But, too much of it can cause harmful effects to your skin and eyes. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (U.V.) light causes most skin cancers. It can also lead to cataracts and eye cancer. So, precautions are necessary to reduce the risk of getting skin or eye diseases while you’re having fun in the summer.

The U.V. rays are reportedly at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Protection from U.V. rays is necessary, especially during the summer. To protect your skin, it’s better to put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (S.P.F.) value of 30 or higher and reapply it every two hours or every one hour if you are swimming. You may also consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants or skirts to cover your body as much as possible. Also, you can bring an umbrella if you see fit.

Another must-have for the summer is sunglasses. Sunglasses can serve as a fashion statement, but their main objective is to protect your eyes from U.V. radiation. They can also shield the sensitive skin around your eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts and eye cancer. You need to make sure that they block at least 99% of U.V.A. and U.V.B. rays. In addition to those protections, you need to make sure to stay hydrated because your body tends to lose fluids quickly in the sun. Now you can enjoy your summer at ease.

Summer Sun Safety Month timeline

3100 B.C.
The Beginning of Sunscreen

The ancient Egyptians use ingredients such as rice bran, jasmine, and lupine for sunscreen.

2457—2467 B.C.
The First Cataract

The first case of cataracts is documented on a statue in the fifth dynasty in Egypt.

12th Century
The First Sunglasses

The first sunglasses are used in China and made using smoky quartz as lenses.

Early 1800s
The Discovery of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is discovered by René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, a French physician who invented the stethoscope.

Summer Sun Safety Month FAQs

How long should you be in the sun for vitamin D?

It is recommended to get sun exposure for 10–30 minutes at midday several times per week. The duration depends on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.

What are signs of low vitamin D?

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, and depression.

Is it good to avoid the sun entirely?

Complete sun avoidance is not healthy, because your body needs moderate amounts of sunshine to produce vitamin D.

How to Observe Summer Sun Safety Month

  1. Protect your skin

    The cause of most skin cancer is overexposure to U.V. light. Since you may want to spend more time outside, you will need sun protection to keep you from unwanted diseases.

  2. Shield your eyes

    Besides your skin, your eyes also require sun protection, especially from bright light. So, use your sunglasses, and make sure they have U.V.A. and U.V.B. protection.

  3. Avoid dehydration

    Under the direct sun, your body will lose water fast, and you will get dehydrated. In that case, always carry your bottle of water so that you can stay hydrated.

5 Interesting Facts About Ultraviolet (U.V.) You Need To Know

  1. It is sometimes known as blacklight

    Because of the invisibility of U.V. light to the human eyes, sometimes it is known as blacklight.

  2. Bees can see it

    Bees use U.V. light patterns to direct themselves to pollen.

  3. Many viruses are destroyed by it

    U.V. light destroys many types of viruses, mold, and bacteria.

  4. Elephants protect themselves from it

    Elephants cover themselves in the mud to protect their skin from harmful U.V. light.

  5. It is powerful

    U.V. light is so powerful that high doses of it kill living cells.

Why Summer Sun Safety Month is Important

  1. It reminds us about safety and health

    Summer is mostly about having fun. But, we can’t deny that our well-being is always important. Summer Sun Safety Month is observed to remind us not to neglect the importance of safety and health while having fun in the summer.

  2. We take care of our body’s largest organ

    The skin is the body’s largest organ, and we go to great lengths to keep it healthy. And, Summer Sun Safety Month encourages us to continue doing it.

  3. It is time to make a fashion statement

    Some of us wear sunglasses to make a fashion statement. There is nothing wrong with it since sunglasses serve that purpose. Summer Sun Safety Month is the best time for you to do it while the sunglasses serve their ideal function — protecting the eyes.

Summer Sun Safety Month dates

2024August 1Thursday
2025August 1Friday
2026August 1Saturday
2027August 1Sunday
2028August 1Tuesday
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