Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!!
Apparently it’s happening in Northern Hemisphere at 03:49 on Friday, 20 March, marking the astronomical start of spring when the sun passes north through the Earth’s equator. From March 20 the days will begin to get longer and the nights shorter as the Earth wakes up from its winter hibernation and we look forward to the promise (?) of sunshine! So with March well and truly here, today we are asking if Spring sun safety is something we should all start thinking about.
The increase in daylight hours has prompted us to start thinking about how our health may be affected by this gradual yet inevitable change. We all know that, although feeling warm sunshine after a long winter feels nice, too much sunlight is harmful to our skin and significant damage can be caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight.
But is it too early to be thinking about the factor 50, or should we be slapping on the cream right now?
One of the benefits of springing the clocks forward is that the days are suddenly, and increasingly, longer. And while that means extra hours of daylight to play and work outdoors, it also adds up to more sun exposure. So exposed skin like your face, neck, and arms need sunscreen … even in the spring time. And it needs a second application if you stay in the sun for more than a couple of hours. Although the type of rays that cause burning, UVB, are strongest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the UVA rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer are present whenever the sun is out all year-round.
Practicing smart sun protection should be a year-round habit. That means applying sunscreen (about a teaspoon-sized blob per exposed body part) 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors—and reapplying it every two hours or immediately after being in water.
So as well as a good dose of sunscreen, what else can we do to stay safe in the Spring sunshine?
1. Keep your top on.
2. Wear a hat with a brim or a flap that covers the ears and the back of the neck.
3. Stay in the shade whenever possible, during your breaks and especially at lunch time.
4. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
5. Check your skin regularly for any unusual moles or spots. See a doctor promptly if you find anything that is changing in shape, size or colour, itching or bleeding.
So the simple answer is YES, Spring sun safety IS a thing, a thing we should all be practicing daily.
Enjoy the longer days and Spring sunshine safely!
For guidance on outdoor working all year round or for any Workplace Health and Safety advice, call Prosafe UK Ltd on 01724 712342 or visit our website www.prosafeuk.co.uk