Five Essentials for a Safe Day in the Sun

How to protect yourself in the sun and at the beach.


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Heading to the beach, pool, or lake? Be sure to throw these safe-in-the-sun essentials in your bag before heading out for the day.

Water shoes. Flip-flops are cute, but its way too easy to trip and twist your ankle in them. Water shoes give you more support on the sand and in the waves, plus they protect the tops of your feet from getting sunburned and cut by rocks or seashells.

Wraparound shades. The suns rays glaring off the water and beach and blowing sand and debris can damage your eyes. “Wraparound sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays are the way to go,” says Price M. Kloess, MD, a spokesman for the American Optometric Association. “A couple of years ago, I had to remove a tiny piece of glass from my daughters cornea after a trip to the beach.”

SPF 30 sunscreen. Be sure it protects against UVA and UVB rays. And when you think you have enough on, squirt out some more because “almost everyone underapplies sunscreen,” says Richard Zane, MD, vice chair of emergency medicine at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.

A giant bottle of water. Go ahead—guzzle it. You need twice as much fluid when youre active as you do sitting at your desk. Dont wait until youre thirsty, either: Thats a sign that youre already dehydrated.

Antibacterial gel. If the restroom is out of soap, an antibacterial gel kills germs and bacteria just as well.
Karen Cicero
Last Updated: June 18, 2009

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