Protect yourself from skin cancer, dehydration, sunburn and heat-related illness
NEWMARKET - While enjoying the sunshine with family and friends this summer, it is important to be mindful of the negative health effects of too much sun. The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents to play it safe this summer by following these five sun safety tips.
Reduce exposure when sun is strongest
Playing outside can be fun, however it can also increase exposure to ultra violet (UV) rays from the sun. The UV rays from the sun are strongest between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and residents should reduce sun exposure during this time. In Canada, the sun is strong enough to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. If you have to be outside during this time, seek shade or create your own shaded area. To check the local UV index, visit Environment Canada at www.ec.gc.ca/UV
Lather up and cover up
Protect your skin from UV rays by applying a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. This should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours and after swimming and sweating. Babies under the age of six months should not wear sunscreen and babies under one year should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Remember to protect your skin, head and eyes by wearing light-coloured clothing that covers arms and legs, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses with 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection.
Beware of sunburn
Two or more sunburns during childhood can double the risk of developing skin cancer later in life, and according to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in seven Canadians will develop this deadly disease. Although a sunburn or suntan resulting from sun exposure will fade away, the damage done to skin cells builds up with each exposure. As a result, it may take 10 to 30 years for the signs of skin cancer to appear. Role modeling sun safety can help protect children from sun exposure and may significantly lessen their lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.
Protect yourself from extreme heat
York Region issues heat advisories when Environment Canada issues a Special Weather Statement relating to extreme temperatures and humidity in our area. Extreme heat can cause heat-related illness and everyone is at risk. Warning signs of heat related illness can include dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, weakness and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
The amount of fluid you need depends on your age, gender and level of physical activity. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty and increase your fluid intake regardless of your level of activity. Also, limit caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as this might increase your risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can occur when you lose more fluid then you are taking in.
For more information on this or any other health-related program, please call York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 • After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 • email@example.com