A day at the beach with the family is a great way to spend time in the sun and fresh air. However, it’s important that you take precautions to keep your family safe from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which are known to cause sunburns and other potentially dangerous skin conditions. UV rays are especially potent at the beach, where radiation that otherwise would have been absorbed into the ground is reflected back onto the skin by the water and pale sand. Here are some of the best ways to keep everyone in your family safe from the sun while at the beach.

Use Sunscreen

You’ll want to make sure that everyone is wearing sunscreen that’s strong enough for their skin types. Each type of sunscreen is made with a sun protection factor (SPF), and you can identify how strong a particular sunscreen is by looking at its SPF number. People with fairer skin types should use a sunscreen that has a higher SPF number for better protection. It’s important to note that the SPF is intended to protect against UVB rays and not UVA rays, which are less intense but very harmful under extended exposure. UVA rays penetrate deeper and have recently been linked directly to the development of skin cancers. This makes it important that sunscreen is not your only method of protection against sun damage. Sunscreen also needs to be reapplied every 1-2 hours, so consider setting a timer to let you know when to reapply for yourself and your family members.

Wear Rash Suits

Rash suits are sleeved swimsuits that can keep more body parts covered while swimming and enjoying other outdoor activities at the beach. You can find suits that are made with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) that’s capable of shielding out a lot of UV light. Rash suits are available in child and adult sizes and come in different colors to enhance their styles. You can also find rash suits that feature cool graphics to make them even more visually appealing. These are more effective than sunscreen at preventing skin cancers due to their ability to aid in blocking out UVA radiation, though it should be used in conjunction with sunscreen to ensure that you have all exposed skin protected. This is especially important for children, as their skin is more sensitive than adults.

Bring Hats and Sunglasses

Wearing a hat and a pair of sunglasses is one of the easiest ways to keep the head and face protected from the sun. Even the top of your head that’s mostly covered by hair is susceptible to skin cancer from overexposure to the sun. Cancers like melanoma can occur on any exposed part of the body, requiring melanoma cancer treatment services to properly diagnose and eliminate. Even your eyes are susceptible to severe UV ray damage, eventually causing a decline in your vision. To keep the eyes protected, WebMD states that you should find sunglasses that can block out 99 to 100 percent of the UVA and UVB sunrays.

Stay in the Shade Whenever Possible

It’s best to stay in a shaded area for at least part of the time while you’re at the beach. Propping up a beach umbrella can provide a shaded area for you to take a break from the sun. Even while sitting in the shade, you could still be exposed to UV light that’s reflected from the water, sand or concrete, so you’ll still want to make sure that you’re wearing enough sunscreen and taking other precautions. UV rays penetrate cloud cover as well, and can even be amplified by it, so don’t assume that you don’t need to keep to the shade on cloudy days. Setting up an umbrella where your children are playing in the sand is a great way to help ensure that they get a little UV radiation as possible.
While you shouldn’t spend your entire beach trip hiding from the sun, it’s important to take care of your skin for both yourself and your family to ensure that you don’t develop permanent damage. Take precautions before you leave to ensure that you are prepared to enjoy your trip to the fullest without having to worry about the exposure your skin is getting.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.