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HINGHAM -- The Hingham Health Department is spreading the word about the many measures residents can take this summer to enjoy time outdoors while keeping safe from the sun.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 5 million cases of skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than all other cancers combined.
The Hingham Health Department would like to remind residents of the ways they can protect themselves and their family from the sun.
Staying in the shade is one of the best ways to help prevent UV exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes; prolonged exposure and damage can lead to various forms of skin cancer, many of which are preventable. UV light mainly comes from the sun but it can also come from tanning beds and sun lamps. Reduce risks by staying out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the UV light is the strongest. Residents should also avoid using tanning salons.
Sunscreen can also help protect skin from the sun’s UV rays. Choose a broad-spectrum product with a protection factor of 30 or higher. Sunscreen needs to be applied at least every two hours and even sooner if you sweat or swim. It is important to remember that sunscreen is just a filter and it does not block all UV rays. Sunscreen is important to use but it should be just part of your sun safety plan.
Have a personal or family plan for your fun in the sun. Wear sun protective clothing including a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. Be aware of medications that increase your sensitivity to the sun. Have a plan as to how long you will be spending outside each day.
To help reduce rising rates of skin cancer from overexposure to UV rays, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day (this year being May 27) as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness and to remind everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors.
To learn more about the initiative and for more important sun safety tips, visit the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention’s “Don’t Fry Day” webpage