Playing outdoors is part of summer’s appeal, especially after long Canadian winters. Sun exposure can cause sunburn and even skin cancer, however. While RVing this summer, incorporate sun safety tips. Prioritize protection from the sun as you have fun and stay safe.
Understand the Dangers
While sunshine can boost your mood, the sun can be dangerous, too. Wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation (UVA, UVB, and UVC) can damage your skin and eyes. Fortunately, the atmosphere absorbs UVC rays. However, UVA and UVB rays can cause serious health problems.
About 95% of UV radiation comes from UVA rays. UVA radiation occurs year-round during daylight hours. It can penetrate the skin, cause cancer, and accelerate aging.
Meanwhile, the intensity of UVB can vary by season, time of day, and location. UVB rays are strongest at midday. Damage from UVB could include sunburn, skin aging, cataracts, and cancer.
Keep in mind that UV rays can affect you even on cloudy days. And UV penetration tends to be strongest in Canada from the late summer to the fall when the ozone layer is at its thinnest. Check the UV index to verify your daily risk.
Wear Protective Clothing
Exposed skin can burn in just a few minutes. So, wear adequate clothing as you play in the summer sun. Add loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long shorts, and a wide-brimmed hat to your summer wardrobe. And instead of dark colours, select light colours to help you stay cool. Also, choose synthetic fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and spandex, that protect skin better than natural cotton, wool, or linen fibres. Likewise, check the item’s UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. It will range from 15 to 50+ with higher numbers, offering better protection against harmful UV rays. For example, a shirt with a UPF rating 30 will provide better protection than a 15 UPF rating. However, remember that damage, wear, and water can decrease an item’s UPF rating.
Shade Your Eyes
The sun’s UV rays could damage the delicate, thin skin around your eyes. Your cornea and lens are also vulnerable to cataracts and eye growths. Protect your eyes with sunglasses. When choosing a pair of shades, look for the words “blocks 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.” And instead of price, prioritize a large frame that provides better coverage. For additional protection from the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat, too.
Lather On Sunscreen
Cover every centimetre of your exposed skin with a layer of sunscreen. For the best protection, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Also, apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before playing in direct sunlight. Reapply every two hours or sooner if you work up a sweat or play in the water. And be sure to cover all exposed skin, including your ears and the back of your neck.
Go Under Cover
Minimize exposure to the sun’s UV rays by retreating to a shady spot under a tent, canopy, or umbrella. Or stay cool in your RV. You may wish to take cover between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s UV rays are strongest. And seek shade if you take certain medications, including anti-inflammatories like Advil, antihistamines like Benadryl, and antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline, which make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Also, provide shady space for children under 12 months of age who cannot wear sunscreen.
Dehydration is a significant cause of heat stroke, so drink plenty of fluids as you play outdoors. In addition to drinking water, pack hydrating foods like watermelon, celery, and cucumbers in your picnic basket. Also, avoid dairy, sugar-laden, and alcoholic beverages that can deplete your body’s fluid reserves. And don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Instead, take breaks at least every half hour to hydrate your body.
Keep your skin and body cool while RVing on the hottest summer days. You could swim, squirt yourself with a spray bottle, or shower coolly. You can also soak your feet in cool water or place a damp washcloth on your head or neck as you refresh yourself.
Whether you take a road trip across Canada or camp close to home, protection from the sun is a top priority as you play. These sun safety tips protect you and your family all season. Contact Wayfarer for an RV insurance quote as you protect your investment and enjoy fun in the sun.