Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sun safety - always in season!

It never fails. As we approach the 4th of July holiday, or the summer solstice, suddenly a barrage of articles about summer safety. Particularly those warning folks to be careful to protect their skin through Labor Day.  If you think about it, the amount of solar radiation that hits Louisiana in early September is the same that hits us in mid April. So those articles are bit late, if you ask me! Nevertheless, good advise is always welcomed.

If you ask a dermatologist, they'll tell you that you should protect your skin from sun damage year-round, even if the period from Spring equinox to Fall equinox is the worst time. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation can cause sunburn, wrinkles, skin spots, eye damage and worst of all, skin cancer. Each year, nearly 70,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma - the worst form of skin cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises the following:
- Limit your time in the sun, especially between 10am and 3pm.
- Wear clothing to cover skin, SPF rated clothing is best.
- Use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF factor 15 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen liberally and reapply every 2 hours.
- Wear sunglasses with a UVA/UVB rating of 100 percent.

Of course, protecting the skin and eyes from sun doesn't protect one from dehydration and heat exhaustion. Or from the threat of summer lightning storms. So make sure to pack plenty of water (not highly-caffeinated liquids) on your fishing trips. And be alert to the weather around you. If you hear thunder, you're probably closer to danger than you think. Stop fishing and start making your way back towards harbor.