WHILE SUMMER MAY BE GONE…THESE TIPS APPLY YEAR ROUND FOR SAFE SUN EXPOSURE!
Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma…..OH MY!! I think you may have a hint on what we are going to discuss today. Skin Cancer. Why such a tough subject? Well as a pool manager one of my many concerns for myself, my aquatics staff AND patron is skin safety! Now, most of my expertise is geared more toward aquatics safety, water chemistry and pool equipment but that doesn’t mean I can’t lay down some facts and information on you about skin safety and cancer prevention!
There are several ways to help prevent the most common cancer in the United States. Most of which, being pool goers, you may not like so much.
#1: AVOID THE SUN LIKE THE PLAGUE! easy right? Well not quite….. Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure or cover exposed areas of the body to the sun. If avoiding the sun seems just so ridiculous to you, then you’re not alone. I have some more tips up my sleeve. Avoid the sun during peak hours usually from 10:00 am—2:00 pm. This is when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Delay your visit to the pool until it starts to cool down and your skin will thank you (and you might even avoid the capacity crowds, score!).
#2: I scream! You scream! We all scream, for SUNSCREEN! Wearing SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on a daily basis can reduce your risk of certain skin cancers by almost 50%! I like those odds, SPF 30+ even better! One bit of information I try to tell my aquatics staff that you need to apply sunscreen 20-25 minutes BEFORE you expose your skin to the sun. I’ll let you soak that in (literally). When you apply sunscreen just after arriving to the pool it is quickly washed off with that first splash into the water. Giving sunscreen some time to soak into your skin will prolong it’s effectiveness and will help avoid loads of oily buildup on the waters surface. It’s a win-win! You also need to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours (yes even if it is labeled sport or water resistant).
So parents—please please please don’t lather up your kiddos seconds before they jump into the pool…you have a chance to prevent skin cancer AND can help prevent gross sunscreen buildup in the corners of the pool. Much like the outside clothing, the buildup lowers the chlorine’s effectiveness and makes it difficult to breakdown and filter out without having to add more enzymes to the pool
#3: Check the UV index! The UV index can help you gauge how strong the UV radiation current is. And you can better prepare yourself with sunglasses, hats and SPF clothing. Or even decide to relax inside for the day.
Other helpful tips are to avoid tanning beds, find shade if you do decide to brave the sun, and most importantly check your skin regularly and consult your doctor or dermatologist for any abnormal moles or areas on your skin. Below are links that I used and can help guide you to various information to help you perform a skin exam, check statistics, learn more on the UV index and continue on this journey with me to Practice Safe Sun!
Here’s some links that help me pizzazz my soapbox and can help you too!
Thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.