Living in Mexico and being outside go hand and hand, and as all of us know, you don’t have to be sunbathing on a white sandy beach to get too much sun. Even ten minutes of unprotected exposure to sunlight can result in a sunburn. Activities that may unwittingly give you ten minutes or more of unprotected sunlight are dining at an outdoor restaurant, shopping at an outdoor market or simply standing outside talking to your neighbor.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and those numbers include us expats. Fortunately, it is actually one of the most preventable forms of cancer, too. Although most skin cancers are formed in our early years, it is never too late to take care of your skin.
To help prevent skin cancer’s from forming this summer, The American Cancer Society started an awareness campaign by promoting the slogan:
Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap!
“Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap” is a catch phrase that reminds people of the four key ways they can protect themselves from UV radiation:
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen
- Slap on a hat
- Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes
In addition to following the helpful tips above, limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight when the sun’s rays are most intense, generally from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you are going to be outside during these hours, make sure you follow all of the helpful suggestions above for maximum protection.
This summer, if you are actually lucky enough to end up sunbathing on a tropical beach, you may forget a lot of things, but don’t forget your sun protection. Also, make sure you also have plenty of medical travel insurance coverage in case of a medical emergency.
Some medical emergencies that can end with a trip to a local hospital are severe dehydration, food poisoning, sports injuries or auto accidents. No one ever plans on these things, but they can occur no matter how safety conscious we are.
So, a word to the wise: protect yourself, while having a healthy and happy summer playing outdoors!