Summertime means living carefree in the sunshine, but a recent survey shows many young adults take that lifestyle too literally.
A recent study from the American Academy of Dermatology found that a third of Americans failed a basic quiz on sun exposure — and young adults did the worst. Forty-two percent of those surveyed born after 1996 were unaware that tanning could cause skin cancer. Similarly, forty-one percent didn’t know that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are reflected by snow, water, and sand. A third of this surveyed age range didn’t believe it was possible to sunburn on a cloudy day.
The generation preceding (born between 1981 and 1996) also lacked some lifesaving knowledge. Thirty-seven percent were unaware that tanning could cause skin cancer, and twenty-three percent didn’t know that sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer.
Though the first reaction of those within the age bracket mentioned above might be defensiveness, the survey is a timely reminder that it is essential to continue messaging about sun safety. Skin cancer diagnoses are growing at an alarming rate, and the beautiful sunshine plays a major role in that.
As the summer heats up, remember to be sun smart and follow the basics:
1. Seek shade
Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
2. Wear sun-protective clothing
Wear a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection when possible. For more effective protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label and ensure it is tightly woven.
3. Apply sunscreen
Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Learn more tips and tricks about sunscreen here.
Curious if you could pass the survey? Try your luck here and share with your friends.
Additional Reads You May Enjoy:
Melanoma 101: What You Need to Know
Young Adults and Cancer: What You Need to Know
9 Must-Know Facts About Sunscreen
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