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Sun safety tips

GEHA | August 20, 2018

Sun safety
Take these steps to protect yourself from the effects of excessive sun or heat exposure.

Too much sun can be harmful to your health. Take these steps to protect yourself from the effects of excessive sun or heat exposure:

  1. Avoid staying in the sun for extended periods of time, especially during the middle of the day. UV light is strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you plan to be outdoors, watch for the signs of heat-related illness.
  2. Seek the shade. Trees or umbrellas can provide some level of cover and protection from direct exposure to the sun. Stay in the shade whenever possible when you are spending time outdoors.
  3. Cover up. Clothing provides varying levels of UV protection. Generally, dark colors provide more protection than light colors. Covering your skin with pants or long sleeve t-shirts will provide the most protection.
  4. Use sunscreen – and reapply regularly. Don’t forget easy to overlook spots like your lips and scalp. Sunscreen should be used as part of your sun-protection plan, not as your sole method of protection from UV rays. Choose a sunscreen that offer protection from UVA and UVB rays (broad-spectrum) and has a SPF of at least 30. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
  5. Accessorize for sun protection. Wear a hat and shades. A wide-brimmed hat can help block your ears, face, scalp and neck from the sun’s rays. UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes and reduce your risk of developing certain eye conditions. Be sure to choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  6. Hydrate. Proper hydration is always essential for good health, but it is even more important in the summer, when extreme heat and sweating can cause more rapid dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Looking for a gym so you can stay active but beat the outdoor heat? GEHA medical plan members have access to our Connection Fitness program, which offers discounts on health center memberships nationwide. To learn more, visit

: “How Do I Protect Myself from UV Rays?”, American Cancer Society, 22 May, 2017. “Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Nov. 2017. “Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun: From Sunscreen to Sunglasses”, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 23 May, 2018.