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Sunlight and your Skin in the Schoolyard

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 10:00am
Last updated
7 months ago
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Child protected from the sun

As we all know, gardening outdoors is good for our health, stress-reducing etc. But one item we overlook too often is the damage the sun can do to our skin in the schoolyard. Yes, sunlight permanently damages the skin. These changes build up over the years so that even moderate repeated sun exposure causes visible skin damage.

Most of the wrinkling, roughening, freckling that appears on the face, hands, arms, and legs come from sun damage, not age. Many people in their 30s and 40s are sometimes unhappy because their wrinkled, sun damaged skin makes them appear many years older. Young people (and older too) should realize that they pay a high price for the temporary glamour of deep tanning.

A more serious effect of sun damage is skin cancer. Sun damage is the chief cause of skin cancer. You might expect skin cancer on the overexposed areas such as the face, back, shoulders and arms. Some forms of Skin cancers can usually be removed by a minor surgery in a doctor’s office; it’s a lot better to prevent them. Melanoma can be fatal tough  

There are three basic ways of protecting your skin from the effects of ultraviolet rays:

  1. Blocking out all light with material such as clothing and this include a sun hat and protective sunglasses.
  2. Using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB.  
  3. Seek shade.

There are many sunscreens on the market and check the ingredients before purchasing because the occasional person might be allergic to sunscreen.

Protect your lips from sun damage. Recommended is protective lip balm. Women, who do not wear lipstick, should be using ultraviolet absorbing lip pomade. You should aim to minimize sun exposure in the schoolyards, not avoid it. Being outdoors and physically active is great but stay sun safe as your health is # 1 for now and the future.

Follow the following rules:

  • Avoid the 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. sun whenever possible because this is the time when 70% of the harmful radiation reaches us.
  • Wear protective clothing, broad-brimmed hat, and long-sleeved tightly woven cotton shirt and cover your legs.
  • Protect the most likely exposed areas: the face, ears, nose, back of the neck, arms, top of the hands and exposed parts of the chest.

The 2 in 1 solution: To have a schoolyard with ‘allergy friendly shrubs and trees’ according to the OPALS® ranking and a great canopy of trees to protect us from the UVR rays.


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There is 1 Comment
Thomas Ogren's picture

Good article, and yes, only using allergy-friendly trees & shrubs in the playgrounds always makes a great deal of sense. For something on the plant-allergy ranking system, OPALS, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPALS_(Ogren_Plant_Allergy_Scale)

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