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Keeping safe and sun smart while boating this summer

There’s nothing better than spending summer on the water with your family and friends, creating happy memories to last a lifetime. While indulging in good weather and sunshine, it’s also important to be careful. We all know that excess sun exposure can cause painful burns and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Some people often forget that water is a reflective surface, and therefore increases the intensity of UV rays, meaning you will burn faster.

The good news is, you don’t have to stay inside all summer. We’ve got a list of helpful tips to help you and the family stay sun safe on the water. When going about sun safety, you really can’t go past slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.

Slip on a shirt

This is an easy sun protection method that doesn’t require constant reapplication. If the sun is out, make sure you have some clothing that will keep you covered when you’re not actually swimming in the water. Specially designed sun protective clothing is even better as it blocks out more UV rays.

Slop on sunscreen

Where the dress code is more minimal, i.e. swimming and water sports, your best defence will be sunscreen. : UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun, are the two types of UV radiation known to damage skin. UVA beams pierce more deeply and cause long term consequences of sun exposure such as sunspots, leathering and wrinkling of the skin. UVB rays are responsible for causing the more immediate concerns such as sunburn and skin cancer. Obviously, you’ll want protection from both types so search for sunscreens offering broad-spectrum protection with a high SPF rating. Remember to apply to all exposed skin—including ears and the part in your hair. Reapply every few hours or straight after swimming (even if it’s supposed to be water resistant).

Slap on a hat

In conjunction with appropriate clothing, a broad-brimmed hat can shade your eyes, face and neck. Not to mention, a good hat is extremely fashionable.

Seek shade

Where possible, take a break or sit undercover while you’re on the boat. Give your skin a chance to have some time away from the sun’s constant rays as well as the reflection on the water.

Slide on sunnies

You need to look after your eyes! Eyes will also be impacted by both direct sunrays and the glare of the water. Make sure you wear sunnies that block UVA and UVB rays. Polarised lenses are able to cut the glare without compromising the intensity of the light reaching your eyes and are a fantastic option for boating enthusiasts. Sunglasses are not just the perfect fashion accessory, they’re practical as well.

Enjoy the heat and summer fun on the water! Take the boat out and enjoy the holidays and sunshine with those you love most, but stay safe while you’re out there and don’t come back looking like a lobster!

For more information on skin cancer prevention, please visit: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au

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