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  • Stay Sun-Safe: Protect Yourself and Your Family

Understanding the Importance of UV Safety

Summer is here! This July, we’re focusing on something crucial for our community: UV Safety Awareness Month. With our beautiful sunny weather, it’s easy to forget that those warm rays can also pose serious health risks. Let’s focus on how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The Dangers of UV Radiation

UV radiation from the sun can cause significant damage to our skin and eyes. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Skin Cancer: Prolonged exposure to UV rays is a leading cause of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form. According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • Eye Damage: UV exposure can also harm your eyes, leading to conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Premature Aging: UV rays break down the collagen in our skin, leading to wrinkles and age spots.

UV Exposure in the Inland Empire

Our region is known for its sunny weather, which means we're at a higher risk for UV exposure. Here are some stats specific to the Inland Empire:

  • High UV Index: The Inland Empire often experiences a high UV index, especially during the summer months. On a scale from 1 to 11+, our area regularly hits 8 or above, indicating a very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.
  • Skin Cancer Rates: The incidence of skin cancer in California is higher than the national average, and the Inland Empire is no exception. According to recent data, the region sees thousands of new cases each year.
  • Outdoor Activities: With our beautiful parks, hiking trails, and outdoor sports facilities, residents of the Inland Empire spend a lot of time outside, increasing the risk of UV-related health issues.

Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun

While enjoying our sunny weather, it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself and your family from harmful UV radiation. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats to cover your skin. Look for clothing with UV protection labels.
  3. Seek Shade: Stay in the shade, especially during the peak UV hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  4. Wear Sunglasses: Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Check the UV Index: Pay attention to the daily UV index and take extra precautions when the index is high.

Final Thoughts

UV Safety Awareness Month is a great reminder for all of us in the Inland Empire to take sun safety seriously. By following these simple tips, we can enjoy our sunny climate while minimizing the risks associated with UV exposure.

Stay safe and enjoy your summer!