We are getting very close to celebrating our 10th birthday soon! As we shared before, from time to time we will include some of our favorite articles from the last two years. This one is from June 2006 and has lots of great information from our friends—Dr.Allan Handysides and Dr. Peter Landless—on ways to stay healthier this summer!—Editors
Some people burn very easily, and some seem so lucky. I’m one of the “lobster people”—I go so red in the sun!
We need about 20 minutes a day in the sun, because sunshine makes vitamin D in our skin, and that really helps our bones. Too much sunshine can burn our skin and the damage makes us more at risk for skin cancer 20 years later.
We are fortunate to wear clothes—most of us—and they protect us from the sun. A nice hat with a brim can shade our faces too.
An easy way to protect your skin is to wear sunblock lotion. The SPF (sun protection factor) numbers go from about 4 to 70, with the bigger the number, the better the protection. An SPF 16-32 should protect most people. Sunshine makes for wrinkles as you get older, so using sunblock lotion is a smart idea if you don’t want to look like a prune in your older age.
Then, of course, we can be smart and sit in the shade or stay out of the sun at noon, when it is directly overhead and just sizzling. Early morning and later afternoon are better times to be outside, especially if you don’t have a hat or sunblock lotion.
You ask a very important question! In many parts of the world children go barefoot all the time. Walking in bare feet when one is young is not unhealthy, as a rule.
The main reason we wear shoes is for protection from cold, heat, or other injury. The injuries can be caused by stones, glass, tacks, and even other people’s shoes (when we play, change classes, or stand in lines). Another good reason for wearing shoes is protection from skin infections that may be spread on the wet floors of restrooms; it is a good idea to wear your own flip-flops when showering in shared showers, then to dry your feet carefully and put socks and shoes on when you are finished.
In some places, shoes are required. But if you live in an area where it is hot and flip-flops are permitted, avoid plastic sandals, which make the feet sweat. Look for flip-flops that have cotton or similar linings to help soak up sweat to keep the feet as dry as possible
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