Recently the ultra-famous Hugh Jackman posted a selfie on social media in which he had a bandage on the bridge of this nose with a caption warning of skin cancer and how to always use sunscreen. That got me thinking, with summer quickly approaching (can’t get here soon enough in my opinion) we need to start thinking about our outdoor habits when it comes to fun in the sun (or shade). There’s no better time like the present to get ready for the summer and start instilling some healthy sunscreen mindsets. Maybe we can take a page from some of the research related to our kids.
Multi-Step Approach to Sun Protection
Recently an article published in JAMA Pediatrics discussed a multicompetent approach to sun protection which included swim shirts, text reminders and other forms of communication to instill a healthy sun protection mindset in children. By using this multi-step approach, the article concluded, “As clinicians, we tend to believe that ‘less is more’ and that simplifying recommendations benefits our patients. Ultimately, sun protection programs are behavioral interventions designed to change patterns long term, and it would not surprise us to find that more complex multimodal approaches, such as those advocated by Ho et. al., may prove more effective at reinforcing healthier sun-protection habits and that, in this instance, ‘more is more.'”
As with any goal, it is usually better to create a series of small steps for a big goal (like changing your summer ways and wearing sunscreen) in order to ensure you at least carry out a few of the processes to help you work your way to results! Apart from applying the appropriate SPF level of sunscreen, here are 3 methods for helping you stay protected from sun damage this summer.
This is one of the best ways to help remind you to put on sunscreen. If you know you have a full day (or even part of a day) on the beach, on the river, or just out in the backyard, set yourself reminders on your phone to go off in the morning and a few times during your sun-filled plans. This will help ensure you put on sunscreen to begin with but also remind you to reapply!
Have it Handy
Many times we don’t wear sunscreen or reapply it because it isn’t close at hand. For instance, if you leave it in the truck while you do a little swimming on the beach, you probably aren’t going to go back to the truck and get it (unless you are getting fried). Have some small tubes of screen always close at hand so it’s ready when you need it or get a reminder from your phone! Throw a tube in your purse, gym bag, beach bag, lunch box…etc.
Watch Your Friends Back
More often than not, you don’t even know you’re burning until you hear your friend exclaim, “Man, you look like a lobster!” Trust me, by then you are already fried! Make sure to watch your friends and tell them if they are starting to get a little pinkish and they will do the same for you. Friends need to watch each other’s backs, right?
These are just 3 easy approaches to ensure that you stay protected this upcoming summer. While it may seem far away, time flies and it will be here before you know it. So take the advice of a JAMA Pediatrics publication and use a multi-step approach to ensure that you stay coated this summer! No one wants to be burnt to a crisp!
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