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  April 24, 2000


With the warmer weather of Spring and the Summer months ahead many families turn to outdoor recreational activities e.g. baseball and soccer, increasing their exposure to the sun. "It is necessary to remember that regardless of the season it is important to protect oneself from the damaging effects of the sun," said Legislator Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow). "I am pleased to make available the following guidelines offered by the American Cancer Society."
  1. About 80 percent of skin cancers could be prevented by protecting ourselves from the sun's rays.
  2. Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, whatever their skin color, and everyone needs protection from the sun.
  3. Plan your sun strategy before you go out. You'll need a hat, protective clothing and plenty of sunscreen.
  4. Plan your activities to avoid the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
  5. Sunlight can reflect off water, sand, concrete and snow, and can reach below the water's surface.
  6. Cloudy skies may make the air temperature cooler, but UV rays are still coming through the clouds.
  7. Cover up! Wear clothing to protect skin as much as possible. Choose long-sleeve shirts and long pants, and wear a hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
  8. Some medications such as antibiotics, can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about drugs you are taking and take extra precautions.
  9. Children need extra protection from the sun. Encourage children to play in the shade, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen regularly.
  10. Sunscreen is not recommended for children less than 6 months old. Keep infants in the shade and covered up with clothing.
  11. Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. Look for the number on the label.
  12. For best results, apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before going outside to allow it time to bond with your skin.
  13. Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring heavily or drying skin with a towel.
  14. Don't use sunlamps or tanning booths. A tan from these artificial methods won't protect you in the sun when you go on a vacation. They damage the skin, and don't help or protect you.
  15. It's never too late to protect your skin. Even if you've tanned or burned before, you can begin protecting your skin today by following these recommendations.

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