AdventHealth will have umbrella stations at three locations. (AdventHealh)
TAMPA BAY, FL — AdventHealth wants to keep you safe from the sun while you’re enjoying family activities over the Fourth of July weekend.
The health care system is providing free sunscreen at more than 30 locations in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
The SPF 30 sunscreen is available at sunscreen stations that are placed at trails, parks, pools, rec centers and splash pads.
Three locations, (Ben T. Davis Beach, Temple Terrace Family Rec Center and Temple Terrace City Hall) also have sunscreen towers that have an added umbrella feature over the sunscreen dispenser.
AdventHealth, sponsor for the Temple Terrace Fourth of July parade, will also have sunscreen stations installed during the parade.
AdventHealth partnered with BrightGuard to bring the sun safety stations to the Tampa Bay area as a way to help residents prevent skin cancer.
Why You Should Wear Sunscreen
Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer diagnosed in the U.S., yet it’s often overlooked. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is responsible for the most skin cancer-related deaths. It is also one of the most common types of cancer among U.S. adolescents and young adults, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That said, many skin cancers can be prevented with proper use of sunscreen and other protective measures. Protecting your skin is especially important starting from age 6 months and throughout your life since the damage to your skins cells caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays accumulates and increases skin cancer risk years into the future.
How Sunscreen Works
Sunscreen provides a protective layer on the outer layers of your skin, serving as a barrier between your skin and radiation from the sun’s UV rays. The ingredients in a broad-spectrum sunscreen target both the suns UVA and UVB rays, which have been proven to damage the skin, cause premature aging and increase skin cancer risk.
UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer, while UVA rays are known to cause light-induced effects of aging, such as wrinkles and leathering of the skin. UVA rays can also increase the cancer-causing effects of UVB rays. That’s why it is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on any part of your skin exposed to the sun to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays.
Choosing the Right Sunscreen
Your sunscreen should have four key things:
Broad spectrum (covering UVA and UVB rays)SPF of at least 30Water resistantApproved with the gold seal from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
When You Should Wear Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be worn any time you are outside. It’s safe to say that if any part of your skin will be exposed to sun, it should be protected with sunscreen.
How You Should Wear Sunscreen
The amount of sunscreen that you’ll need depends on how much of your skin will be exposed to the sun. If you are planning for a day at the beach, you’ll need to cover your whole body with at least the recommended ounce of lotion-based sunscreen. If you’re going to an outdoor sports game, you’ll likely have more sun protection with clothes, so you’ll need less.
Sunscreen Wearing Tips
Put sunscreen on at least 15 to 30 minutes before you go out in the sun to allow it to absorb into your skin.No matter what the SPF, reapply every two hours or immediately after being in the water (even if water resistant).Make sure that any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you are taking do not have sun-sensitive side effects.Since no sunscreen blocks 100 percent of UV rays, use additional sun protection such as SPF clothing, hats, sunglasses and seek shade where possible.Check your expiration dates – most sunscreens should be used within a few months. Buy new sunscreen at the start of the sun and sports seasons and write the purchase date on your bottles with a marker so you can keep track of their shelf life.If you have trouble keeping track of how often to reapply sunscreen, there are products like sun burn alert stickers or wrist bands that change colors to indicate when it’s time to reapply. There are even apps to send reapplication reminders.