Sunshine is such a regular part of summer that it’s easy to overlook how dangerous it can be.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has done a good thing in reminding residents to take the proper precautions.
“Residents should really be taking precautions against sun exposure every day of the year,” said Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry. “But it’s critical to do so during the midday hours of our summer months, when UV rays are the strongest and do the most damage.”
In addition to painful sunburns, overexposure to the sun’s rays may cause more serious issues such as heat exhaustion or skin damage. More than 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun. Too much sun may lead to skin cancer. In the United States, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year.
DHH suggests that residents always wear sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and an SPF of at least 15 or 30.
Clothing to protect exposed skin, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brim hat that shades the face, head, ears and neck are good ideas, too.
And residents should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
We’ve heard that advice before, but it’s easy to forget, especially among the young. We hope that residents take the DHH’s advisory to heart.