Oklahoma City Indian Clinic promotes UV Safety Month this July.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants you to stay safe from harmful UV rays.
Spending time outdoors can promote physical activity and reduce stress, but exposure to UV rays may increase your risk for skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Luckily, you can take precautions to protect your skin.
“Remember to apply a thick layer of sunscreen on exposed skin before going outdoors and reapply every two hours,” said Janice Hixson, MD, OKCIC’s Chief Medical Officer. “Choose broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies younger than 6 months; instead, keep them inside or use protective clothing.”
Although sunscreen is important, it is most effective when combined with other protection methods. Spend time in the shade and wear a wide-brimmed hat. If possible, wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. Covering your skin not only protects you from sunburn, but it reduces your risk for heat exhaustion.
Your skin isn’t the only area of your body that needs protection. Your eyes may develop cataracts after exposure to UV rays. Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the best protection.
“UV protection is important all year, but your risk is highest when the UV index in your area is 3 or higher,” Hixson said.
UV rays are usually the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check the UV index in your area here: https://www.epa.gov/enviro/uv-index-search
You can enjoy spending time outdoors while protecting your skin. Taking precautions against UV rays can significantly reduce the risk of sunburn, skin cancer and cataracts.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 20,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.