New Years Resolution Health

Sun Protection During Outdoor Activities

Would you prefer to walk outside into a beautiful sunny day or would you rather encounter a dreary, wet outdoor experience?  The chances are extremely high that you would embrace the sunny day without hesitation, and why not?    

Being outside on a sunny day can quickly improve your mood. Not only can it be an extremely enjoyable experience to absorb the warmth of the sun, but it is widely believed that the process of being exposed to the sun can create the release of serotonin into your system. This chemical reduces depression and stabilizes anxiety, which clears a path for you to become happier.

However, while you should take advantage of a picturesque day any time that you have an opportunity, it is also important to use good judgment regarding how long you expose yourself to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

This will remain the primary message that is contained throughout this article because excessive exposure to the sun can trigger multiple problems. Instead, it is wise to manage how we spend time outdoors, despite the fact that it can be extremely enticing to soak in the warmth from the largest object in our solar system.

How The Sun Impacts Our Skin

UV rays are invisible energy, and the sunlight is the main source for these types of rays. The two forms of UV rays that are able to penetrate the earth’s surface are UVA and UVB rays – both of which can be problematic for your skin. However, UVA rays are more prevalent and cause various forms of damage if we disregard the effects of these rays.

The list of problems begins with sunburns, but also includes wrinkles, discoloration, freckles, and benign tumors. But the most important justification for avoiding the sun is skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

Exposure to the sun can also cause both pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions that emerge in areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the arms, neck, and head.

It has been estimated that one in five people in the U.S. will personally deal with skin cancer during their lifetime and that approximately 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each day. There are three primary forms of skin cancer – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Around 95% of all skin cancers are either basal cell or squamous cell cancers, and these are not as serious as melanoma – which is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths.   

While the chances of experiencing melanoma rise as we age, the average age for developing it is 63. However, it is also one of the more frequent forms of cancer among young adults (ages 20 to 39).

Safety Tips For Outdoor Activities

Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in 15 minutes, which underscores the importance of applying sunscreen that contains a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. This should be done 15 to 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.

Protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants is also beneficial, and you should also consider sunglasses that supply you with UV protection. Hats containing a wide brim that supplies shades your face and neck are also recommended.

However, in addition to making sure that you are providing yourself with protection, you must also take precautions before your children journey outside.

This is certainly the case during the summer months in which your kids participate in the various outdoor activities that are available, as it is critical to make sure that you protect their health and safety – regardless of whether they are involved in organized team events, a family outing at a park, or pool, or even during an event at any other outside location.

Since your kids will be completely engrossed in having fun, that provides you with more incentive to seize the role of protector in terms of their exposure to the sun. Sunburn also makes your son or daughter vulnerable to the risk of skin cancer as the years progress in their lives. Since the UV rays are most potent between 10am-4pm, it is wise to plan any family activities earlier in the day, or once the hours have advanced toward evening.

Sunscreen should be applied liberally about 30 minutes before your children go outside, and it is best to include protection for their ears. nose, lips and the tops of their feet. Sunscreen should also be applied again after your kids have been in the water during swimming, or if they have been exercising.

It has been stated that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. This should only add to the incentive that you already are experiencing as a parent to make sure that your kids develop smart habits that will consistently protect them from the hazardous potential of the sun – particularly the potential of skin cancer.

At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help 

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of activities that your child might be involved with, or if you have questions about a health issue of any kind, do not hesitate to contact us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. At Rapid Med, not only do we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care.

Our Primary Care 

  • After Hours Care Available
  • Continuity of Care
  • Health Maintenance
  • Patient ducation
  • Vaccinations

Our Preventative Care 

  • Alcohol Misuse Screening & Counseling
  • Atherosclerosis Risk Factor Modification
  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Depression Screening
  • HIV-STD Screening
  • Immunizations
  • Obesity Screening & Counseling
  • Type 2 Diabetes Screening
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness Exams

In addition to visiting our offices at either location, you can receive the same great care and consideration by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.

Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems.

Our Urgent Care

Phil Clark
Phil’s experience as a writer enabled him to generate advertising and marketing material throughout his career in the television industry before he expanded his level of knowledge by creating various promotional elements for all forms of media in other industries. He has also produced articles that have been published in numerous publications and websites, including, and USA Today’s football magazine, where he wrote weekly columns and player profiles for multiple years. He has also worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Vizio, and has a BS in Broadcasting from Indiana State University.
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