The Island of Sanibel is crowned with miles of white-sand beaches, gleaming sunshine and countless outdoor activities. With these luxuries come the importance of protecting our skin while out in the hot summer sun. At West Wind Inn, the safety of our guests is our priority, and in honor of July being National UV Safety Month, we encourage you to take proactive measures to protect yourself from the harmful effects of sun exposure. There is nothing fun about a sunburn putting a hold on your beach vacation, so practice these simple safety tips to keep you and your skin both happy and healthy!

Use Sunscreen

alt="Mother putting sunscreen on daughter at the beach"Sun safety is essential, especially when near reflective surfaces, such as the water. While a moderate amount of sun exposure is essential as a source of Vitamin D, which aids in our bodies’ absorption of calcium for stronger and healthier bones, it is essential to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. According to an article from ABC News, many popular sunscreens fall short of the mark in regards to effectiveness. To ensure that you are protected, the FDA recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreen (which blocks both UVA and UBA rays) with a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 15 or higher. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, so don’t forget to reapply regularly throughout the day. If you are working up a sweat playing beach volleyball, or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, waterproof sunscreen is ideal as this type of sunscreen maintains its level of SPF longer when exposed to water than other sunscreens.

 

Wear the right clothing

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If you are planning a long day in the sun, keep in mind that your clothing can help shield you from the sun. Grab a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face, and wear sunglasses with UV protection that completely cover your eyes. Long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric are helpful in reducing exposure to the sun. Certain fabrics, such as denim are sun protective, however they may not be as practical for your outdoor activity. If you are looking for other options, you can wear Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing, which is designed to limit the amount of UVA and UVB radiation that reaches the skin. Clothing with a UPF label can provide protective features, while remaining cool and comfortable on a hot day.

 

 

 

Limit sun exposure

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The risk for overexposure is greatest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is high and it’s UV rays are strongest. If possible, plan your outdoor activities around this timeframe to avoid the sun’s strongest rays. Seek shade to ensure that your skin is protected, whether you bring a beach tent, rent an umbrella from the West Wind Inn front desk, or head indoors for a great lunch or shopping experience on the island! Also, always remember that a cloudy day doesn’t mean that you are not being exposed to UV rays, so be sure to take precautionary measures regardless of the current weather conditions.Our goal at West Wind Inn is to ensure that you enjoy a fun, safe and unforgettable time on Sanibel Island, and we are here to help make it happen. If you have any questions regarding how to plan for your summer beach vacation, call us at 239-472-1541 or 1-800-824-0476 or stop by our front desk to speak to a team member. July may be National UV Safety Month, but sun safety is never out of season – be sure to protect your family from harmful UV rays all year round!