By Lexington Clinic


The cold of winter is finally gone and the warm sunshine of summer is almost here! That means fun, family activities outside, but it also means increased exposure to the sun and heat.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause.

The good news is there are plenty of steps you can take to keep you and your family safe this summer:

Wear sunscreen. A broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher is best and should be worn anytime you are outside.

Reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, after swimming or sweating.

Seek shade. Remember, the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A good rule of thumb: if your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade!

Wear protective clothing. Lightweight long-sleeve shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses will all help protect you.

The warm temperatures also mean kids will be outside more often and sports are starting soon, but it’s important to stay safe while having fun in the heat

• Always warm-up

• Wear appropriate protective gear (e.g.: helmets, mouth guards, eye protection, skin guards)

• Stay hydrated with water and get proper rest breaks

• Have at least one CPR certified adult nearby at all times

• Recognize the signs of an injury

If you do notice an injury with your child, you should take him or her to the doctor immediately. Parents should also be aware of the signs of a concussion, which can worsen hours after the actual injury has occurred. However you and your family plan on enjoying the beautiful weather, make sure you do it safely!