How to be Safe and Sun-Conscious on the Water

Fri, May 23, 2014 at 12:00AM

There’s nothing like a warm, sunny day to beckon us closer to summer and relaxing days on the water. Unfortunately, if we don’t take the right precautions, the sun could do us more harm than good. Next time you get out on your boat, remember these simple steps to have a healthy (and enjoyable!) day in the sun.

Limit your exposure. It’s the simplest to remember, but also the hardest to follow. Who can resist a long, sunny day out on the water? But you don’t have to stay inside all day to avoid the sun. UV rays are most intense between 10 AM and 4 PM, so going out earlier or later than this window can protect your skin from nasty sunburns and unwanted headaches. If you still have plans to be out during the peak hours, however, make sure to be smart and cover up.

Use sunscreen! Use SPF 15 or above to block out 93% of UV rays. While it’s important to go out wearing sunscreen, you should also remember to reapply regularly; at least every 40 to 80 minutes if you’re sweating or swimming, and every hour or two if dry. You’ll get to avoid a painful sunburn now, and prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and more serious problems down the road.

Cover up. Wear clothing that is rated as UV protective if possible or opt for tightly-woven fabric, as opposed to flimsier blends, to get maximum protection. You can determine what’s protective enough by placing your hand between a piece of clothing and sunlight. If you can see your hand through the clothing, it’s too thin! Opt for a thicker cover-up or wear lounge pants while not in the water, and use wide-brim hats and sunglasses to protect your face and neck.

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