Protecting Your Family from the Sun’s Rays

Spending the day playing in and around your backyard pool is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But it’s important to be safe while you are having fun.

Late summer is when the sun’s rays are at their brightest, and potentially most harmful. Protect yourself and your family from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays by taking these precautions while enjoying your backyard swimming pool:

  • Cover Up — When you aren’t swimming, cover your skin with tightly-woven clothing that blocks out most of the light. Your skin can’t absorb the sun’s rays when you provide a physical barrier between the two. If you aren’t sure if your clothing is providing adequate protection, try this test: Put your hand between a single layer of the material and any light source. If you can see your hand through the clothing, it doesn’t offer enough protection. 
  • Use Sunscreen — Slather a sunscreen on your skin that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. This blocks out 95% of the sun’s UV rays. Both UVA and UVB rays can lead to skin cancer. Follow the application directions on the bottle to get the best protection results.
  • Wear a Hat —  Make sure everybody in the family has a wide-brim hat they can wear when sitting around the pool in direct sunlight. Baseball caps aren’t good enough because you want to protect the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
  • UV-Absorbent Sunglasses — You can look cool and protect your eyes from the sun’s rays by wearing shades that block 99% to 100% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation. They may cost you a little more, but the added protection is often worth it.
  • Limit Your Exposure — The sun’s UV rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you’re not sure about the sun’s intensity, use the shadow test: If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest of the day.

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