Sun, Fun and Boating Safety!

The Facts and the Tips to Maximize Your Day on the Water

Everyone loves enjoying a great day of boating on the water with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair! What could be better?

Always remember that the best things in life are meant to be enjoyed in moderation! Too much of the sun’s powerful UV rays can result in sunburn, dehydration, aging, eye damage, and even worse—cancer.

The Facts, According to the Skin Care Foundation:
• It only takes 20 minutes of sun exposure to get a sunburn if your skin is not properly protected
• Surfaces that reflect light also reflect UV rays. This means that when you are on the boat, there is an increased exposure to the sun due to the reflection on the water and off the deck of the boat.
• Prime boating times tend to correspond with peak UV exposure times (10am-3pm).
• One in five Americans will develop skin cancer.
• Approximately 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun.
• Some 40-50% of Americans who live to age 65 will contract skin cancer at least once.

Considering these facts, it’s important to be proactive and to do everything possible to protect yourself, your family and friends from harmful sun damage. The good news is that there are plenty of things you CAN do to help minimize the risks associated with exposure to the sun.

Here are three of the most effective sun and safety tips for Freedom Boat Club members!

1. Sunscreen Choose sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer while UVA rays penetrate the skin and can lead to leathering and deeper sun damage. Check the label to make sure your sunscreen covers both types of rays.

To block against both, choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection and an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. IMPORTANT: apply it 20 minutes before you go outside so it has time to start working. Cover ALL exposed areas of your body (don’t forget areas like your hairline, ears and the top of your feet) and be sure to reapply every two hours, especially if you are swimming or in contact with the water.

2. Sun Protective Clothing Everyday clothing does offer some protection from the sun, but there is apparel you can purchase specifically to block the sun’s rays. Those involved in fishing and watersports activities may find brands specifically suited for this type of boating and lifestyle activity.

Look for clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which is similar to SPF with sunscreen. The higher the rating, the more effective the fabric is at blocking UVB & UVA rays.

Please note, this clothing may not be as effective if it stretches or gets wet. Other accessories such as wide-brimmed hats and buffs are also great for added sun protection.

3. Sunglasses Every year, approximately 3.2 million people go blind from eye conditions caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays. To shield your eyes from damage, make sure to wear polarized sunglasses that block 99-100% of the sun’s rays. Polarized sunglasses help to improve visibility and comfort on the water by reducing glare, which is the light that bounces off the water and causes you to squint.

While we hope every day boating on the water provides plenty of sunshine and fun, we also encourage you to take every precaution to maximize your outings by observing these sun and safety practices.

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