This is Logan, my 8 year old. Yesterday, after he got off the school bus, he saw his brother Miles and I playing outside. Deciding whether or not he wanted to join us, he took a look at the posts on my deck, measured them out and seemed to be concentrating rather hard.
After I asked what he was doing, he said he was checking to see how high the UV Rays were at that time. I was so excited to learn that Logan's health teacher was teaching them about UV Rays and "the big protective layer around the earth that has a hole!" (Ozone layer) She even taught them the "shadow trick". If you're wondering if it's a safe time to go out for some time, look at your shadow. Is it longer than you? Shorter than you? No shadow at all?
Ideally, you want your shadow to be longer than you, because then you know that the sun isn't high in the sky, omitting a high amount of UV Rays. So if your kids didn't learn this in health class, teach them!
And here's a few more things that are of value to you:
- MySkinCheck.ca - This site is amazing! It gives you your risk of future skin cancer, helps you track your moles, gives you healthy sun tips - just a wealth of info for everyone!
- Climate Prediction Center - If your state is experiencing an unusually high amount of UV Rays, this map will apparently tell you. Ideally, the map should be completely white. If you see yellow or red, you need to take extra precaution. (Right now some of you Montana people should be aware.)
- The difference between UVA and UVB Rays - If you don't know the difference between UVA and UVB Rays - What one causes cancer? What one ages my skin? - This article will help you decipher and protect your skin
The sun is a beautiful thing! It feels good, it lifts our spirits and it certainly is a nice relief from a cold Spring. There are a million things you can do outside in the summer, and there is no reason to avoid the bountiful blessings that the sun is. Just play it safe and you can enjoy a long summer of sunshine!
Teach your kids while they are young so that sun safety is just another bit of knowledge they have as they grow and make choices of their own.
Image: Jen Adkins