Yesterday we learned about the harmful UVA rays that you need to protect yourself from every day of the year. Go read Stay Safe in the Sun (Part 1) if you missed it…

UVB rays from the sun are the reason your skin turns red when you have been out in the sun too long, or if you have forgotten to apply sunscreen. UVB rays burn just the top epidermis layer of your skin. That is why you see your skin actually turn red and burn. If you aren’t wearing sunscreen and spend hours in the sun, you are frying your skin!  UVB rays are most dangerous between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. between April and October. That means to remember your sunscreen and sunblock when you are hanging poolside this summer!

UVB rays are also dangerous because they are reflective rays. Did you ever go skiing in the winter on a sunny day and come home with a red, sun burned face? That’s the UVB rays reflecting off the snow and ice and onto your face. Think about your pool water–that is also a reflective surface that UVB rays will bounce off of and onto you. 80% of the sun’s UVB rays will do a “double bounce” and you will get hit with twice as many UVB rays if you are near a reflective surface like water or snow.

In our last post we discussed using sunscreens and sunblocks that are 30 SPF or higher, water resistant and have UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection. Today, let’s take a look at clothing and accessories that offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays…

Sun shirts, or rash guards as they are commonly called, are a great way to stay in the sun and water and avoid the harmful rays. With a SPF of 50 or higher, these shirts will block the sun while you are on the water. These shirts are designed to dry quickly and are often very lightweight. Not all rash guards have an SPF! You need to look at the tag or product description to verify that the shirt is indeed a sun protection shirt suitable for swimming. Remember, you will still need sunscreen on your face and legs!

Here are a few standouts in the SPF 50 rash guard department:


Hats are a great way to avoid sun on your face! Floppy hats will really do the job, but if you don’t have a floppy hat go for a baseball hat or visor. But remember to still put sunscreen on your face! The UVB rays reflecting off the water will still harm your skin, even if you are wearing a hat! Check out these hat selections from Amazon:


Last, but certainly not least, remember to wear sunglasses! Just as the sun’s rays reflect off the water and can harm your skin, your eyes are also in danger of damage from the sun. Make sure you wear sunglasses that indicate they offer protection from UVA/UVB rays! Here are some good choices on Amazon:


Baby Sunglasses


Our family is a BIG fan of the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Josh and Chuck have taught us about more subjects than I think anyone in the world! Anytime we’re in the car for more than 45 minutes we stream a “Stuff Guys” podcast. As it turns out, Chuck and Josh did a great podcast on Sunburn, Suntan and Sunscreen. Check it out by clicking on their banner–it is free!


For more tips on sun safety, visit our Pinterest page: