Friday, March 12, 2010

What to Wear on the Beach

When you think of the beach, what comes to mind is probably volleyball, sand castles and surf. Safety, however, should be priority No. 1. An article published by Ohio State University reports that the sun's UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancers in the U.S. It is estimated that 90 percent of both could be eliminated if people used sun protection. And if it's a bit cloudy or overcast, you still need to err on the side of caution. About 60 to 80 percent of UV rays can pass through thin clouds.

Cover Up
1. Wearing a shirt to cover your arms, chest and back may not be as good as a strong SPF sun block, but it is the next best thing. A typical white T-shirt has an SPF of about seven. If you're in and out of the water regularly, or active enough to sweat a lot, you should cover any exposed skin. Water and sweat will decrease the effectiveness of suntan lotion, even if it says it's waterproof.

2. There is scientific proof that UV rays from the sun are damaging to eyes. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) can cause permanent clouding of the eye, known as cataracts. In fact, long-term exposure to these harmful rays can burn the surface of the eye much like it burns skin, according to the public advocacy group National Consumers League. There's an easy solution to keeping your eyes safe when you're on the beach--wear sunglasses. The most effective kind are those that are UV 400. They protect against UVA and UVB rays.

3. The hottest time to be on the beach is from about noon to 2 p.m. Your feet know this well if you've ever found your poor soles getting scorched on hot, dry sand. Unless you have diabetes, or a sore on your foot, it's not likely that hot sand alone will cause any lasting damage, but to prevent burns, or stepping on sharp debris, a pair of inexpensive flip-flops will keep you out of harms way.

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