Today, a trip to the beach is a little more complicated than packing up cute swimsuits, towels, and snacks. Sun protection is a crucial component of a summer outing.  Melanoma is a form of skin cancer, and 90% of cases are linked to overexposure to the sun – however there are many precautions we can take to protect our families in the summer sun.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends clothing made of tightly woven fabrics which will prevent the sun from penetrating. There are also clothing that is made specially for sun protection and is usually tagged with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). But the best way to protect ourselves from the sun is sunscreen.

There are two different kinds of sunscreen – chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin to filter out UV rays.  Physical sunblocks sit on the skin and tend to leave a white cast on the skin. You can check out the most effective sunscreen options at . Always reapply after swimming and don’t forget your lips and peepers! An SPF 30 lip balm and good pair of sunglasses are essentials.

A lot of us are obsessed with getting the perfect tan for summer, but it is important to embrace the shade! Retreating into a cooler area, or going indoors frequently will protect us from the damaging sun rays and avoid heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is a condition that arises in hot conditions when a person is not properly hydrated. Children, whose bodies cannot regulate heat as well, are at higher risks.  Some symptoms of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweats, clamminess, nausea and dizziness. Children exhibiting these symptons should be treated immediately, or it  may lead to heat stroke – a life threatening condition.   Some symptons of heat stroke include: dry skin, confusion, and loss of consciousness.  Remove the child from the heat, give them fluids or a sponge bath.  When in the sun, take frequent shade breaks and drink water!

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