Health Literacy and Sunscreen: The Important Letters to Know


Especially in Florida, summertime means sunscreen season.  It’s important to protect your skin when you’re outdoors, as well as knowing how to pick the correct sunscreen and how to apply it.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are a few basics that you, your students, and their families need to know.

Always read sunscreen labels, and only use products that offer:

  • Broad-spectrum coverage (label may say “broad spectrum,” “protects against UVA/UVB” or “UVA/UVB protection”).
  • SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Water resistance.

Main messages to get across to students-

1.  Apply sunscreen (absolute minimum SPF 15) at least 15 minutes before you go outside.

2.  Re-apply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors.

3.  Use plenty of sunscreen to obtain maximum protection.  This is usually one ounce for the entire body, or the amount that can fill one shot glass.

3.  Whenever your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, find shade.

4.  It’s not just about sunscreen.  Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

5.  Avoid the sun between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. if possible.

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