Enjoying spring or summer weather lifts the spirits and gets seniors outside and moving around, which is good for body and soul. But sun safety is extremely important, particularly for older adults, who are more susceptible to the harmful and cancer-causing effects of the sun.
Sunscreen Is Not Enough
While sunscreen reduces the harmful UV rays that come into contact with the skin, sunscreen alone may not offer the high level of protection necessary for seniors, according to the American Cancer Society. In addition to applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, seniors should wear lightweight clothing with long sleeves as well as slap on a hat for the highest level of protection. Even then, it’s best to stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV light is at its strongest.
Cloudy Days and Cool Days
UV rays are just as damaging during periods of cloud cover as they are under a blue sky, and they’re equally as strong on a bitterly cold day as they are in the sweltering heat. Seniors should apply sunscreen and keep their skin covered year round, regardless of the weather. Keep in mind that some UV rays can penetrate glass, so care should be taken during a car trip or when sitting inside near windows.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Spending time outdoors in the sun and heat can quickly lead to dehydration, which is particularly dangerous for seniors. Before heading outside, drink plenty of water. Take a water bottle along, and sip from it regularly to help prevent overheating and sunstroke