Ultraviolet rays are Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. These rays can burn the skin, and eventually cause skin cancer due to over exposure. Lifeguards are one of the few people who due to the nature of their jobs are subject to excessive exposure to UV rays. These harmful rays make being a Lifeguard an even tougher job to execute. With the heat from the sun and the after effect being cancer, it’s pertinent that lifeguards protect themselves properly. This article gives us a few great ideas on how lifeguards can protect themselves from UV rays.
Sunscreens are an awesome cosmetic every lifeguard most patronize. It’s a product you put on your skin to protect you from UV rays. However it’s important to note that sunscreen does not block all UV rays, it only reduces the rays considerably.
Having sunscreen on shouldn’t be an excuse to prolong your exposure to UV rays, so while it is advisable for a lifeguard to use sunscreen, it is very important that you also follow all the other suggested tips in this article. Sunscreens come in many forms – creams, lotions, ointments, gels, sprays etc. When choosing a sunscreen product, always read the label to be sure it’s a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection bearing sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher. These are usually labeled “broad spectrum”. Also as a lifeguard, your sunscreen must be water resistant so even when you enter and exit the water to assist distressed swimmers, you remain protected. Ensure that the sunscreen you use specifies whether they protect the skin for 40 or 80 minutes of swimming and sweating, based on testing.
Lifeguards should wear clothing to cover as much skin as possible. As the clothes vary in thickness and texture so do their ability to protect the lifeguard from UV rays. Hence it is advisable to wear thick long clothes as they offer the most protection when out in the sun. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
When buying clothes as a lifeguard, look out for sun-protective clothes that may have a label listing the UV protection factor (UPF) value (the level of protection the garment provides from the sun’s UV rays, usually on a scale from 15 to 50+).
Some clothing companies now produce clothing that’s lightweight, comfortable, and protects against UV exposure even when wet. These are the best options for a lifeguard.
Sun protection factor (SPF):The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. The higher the SPF number, the more UVB protection. For example, a lifeguard applying an SPF 30 sunscreen correctly gets the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in the sun. So, one hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected. No sunscreen protects you completely, however the less sunscreen you have, the less protection you have from UVB rays and this is sure the pathway to sunburns and eventually skin cancer.
Other tips are:
Wear a hat
Wear sunglasses that block UV rays
Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps
Note: Instructions in this article do not guarantee 100% protection from UV rays. However, using the described methods can greatly reduce your chances of sunburn and skin cancer. Stay protected!
Info: UV = Ultraviolet, UVB stands for Ultra Violet B. These rays penetrate the upper layers of the skin known as the epidermis and cause the skin to burn. UVA stands for Ultra Violet A. These rays penetrate deeper through the epidermis into the lower layers of skin known as the dermis causing cancer.╚
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