Although we are Chicago pool professionals and not doctors, we still feel an obligation to reiterate the importance of sun protection during pool time.
According to the American Cancer Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3 million cases of various types of skin cancer are diagnosed annually; the American Cancer Society says many of these cases could be prevented if we did a better job of protecting ourselves from excessive sun exposure.
That being said, how can you do a better job of protecting yourself from the sun when lounging out by the pool or taking a dip?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following, most of which you’ve probably heard or read about before:
- Wear a hat with a wide brim that shades your head, face, neck and ears.
- Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15; make sure to apply it before hitting the pool, and reapply it frequently.
Sitting in the shade is another way to protect your skin from harmful rays, especially when you are taking a break from the water and simply lounging in the open air. If you are in the process of building a pool or updating your backyard, adding a pergola may be one way to ensure your poolside always has a shady spot available for family and friends.
To learn more about skin cancer prevention and sun safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Skin Cancer Foundation. They offer other tips that are not mentioned here, but that are just as important to help maintain healthy skin during swimming season.