So often you hear that SoCal has no seasons—it’s an endless summer of convertible thrills and tank top apparel—not quite true. Our summer does seem to go on, usually in something referred to as Indian summer, which can go on right up to the month of November. It is for this very reason that we need to take extra care and caution when it comes to skin protection. The summer sun feels incredible on your skin, and when it breaks through the clouds on a winter’s day, it’s a taste of heaven. However, even though this source of planetary power offers multiple benefits, it can impact your family’s health.

How can you practice savvy protection in every season? The following year-round sun safety tips will keep your family covered.

Slather on the Sunscreen

One key factor to staying safe in the sun involves slathering on the sunscreen. Which brands are the best to use, and what else do you need to know? 

How often should you apply sunscreen? Ideally, you should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out and every two hours after that. You should also slather more on after swimming or sweating profusely.

Does sunscreen expire? Your products should stay usable for at least three years, according to the FDA. Some manufacturers do include an expiration date on the bottle.

What ingredients should you avoid? Watch out for products that contain plastic microbeads that can choke marine wildlife.

Keep It Made in the Shade

Direct sun exposure can drain you — and if it isn’t paired with hot weather, you might not notice the damage to your family’s skin. Keep them sun-safe by scoping out  HYPERLINK the shadiest spots on the playground when your toddler has a playdate.

What about your after-dinner walk? Why not take a tip from folks in the desert southwest and carry an umbrella rain or shine? While you might feel silly at first, tell curiosity seekers that you recently returned from vacation — you might become a neighborhood trendsetter.

Find a Fun and Floppy Hat

One of the most effective ways to keep the sun off your face is to wear a hat. However, if you have the wrong size, it will feel uncomfortable. Use a flexible tape to measure your head and select the ideal fit.

What if your little ones balk at wearing a head covering? Why not turn it into a game? If they like old television shows, tell them to put on their “Gilligan” hat before they head outside.

Protect Precious Peepers

The sun can damage your eyes. You know that you shouldn’t stare directly at earth’s nearest star as the ultraviolet rays can burn exposed tissue. However, your retina lacks nerve cells, and you might not notice the damage until your eyesight becomes blurry or spotty.

Accumulated damage can cause cataracts as you and your family age. To protect everyone’s eyes, wear sunglasses with UV protection. If your children tend to lose theirs, attach a cord to keep them secured.

Water, Water, Everywhere 

The sun can also spur dehydration. However, tiny tots might lack the vocabulary to tell you what’s wrong. Please learn the following signs and keep ample water bottles filled in your car and purse. 

Dry, cracked lips and mouth: If your child licks their lips, they could get chapped. When they become dehydrated, though, they may chew their tongue to produce more saliva.

Dark-colored urine and passing less urine than usual: Does your child still wear diapers? You shouldn’t ignore this clue.

Drowsiness and irritability: Little ones can become irritable for many reasons, but if water calms them, suspect this cause.

No tears when crying: This sign is concerning because it means your child’s body lacks sufficient moisture to produce tears.

Learn the Pulse Points Trick

Standing in the sun can overheat you, even if it isn’t excessively hot. Heat exhaustion can lead to troublesome symptoms and progress to potentially fatal heatstroke.

How can you cool your family down if there’s no shade nearby? One method involves placing an ice cube on their pulse points. Because your blood vessels are close to your skin, it drops your body temperature more quickly.

Get the Air Moving 

Another way to cool down when you can’t find shade is to get the air moving. Fortunately, you can purchase mister fans that your kids can wear as a necklace. When they grow overheated on the playground, they have instant relief.

Another trick involves placing a bowl of ice cubes behind your fan. The effect is similar to air conditioning — without the hefty bill.

Recognize the Signs of Trouble 

Overexposure to the sun can become fatal. Learn how to recognize and treat the following conditions.

Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion typically precedes deadly heatstroke, so take immediate action by moving your affected family member into the shade and cooling them down. You might notice profuse sweating, cold and clammy skin, and a weak, rapid pulse. The individual may complain of headaches or dizziness, and they may faint. If they vomit or symptoms get worse after cooling down, seek medical attention.

Heatstroke: When exhaustion proceeds to heatstroke, the individual can stop sweating and develop hot, dry skin. Their body temperature soars higher than 103 degrees. Lower their temperature without giving them water and call 911.

Sunburn: Sunburns can cause severe blistering and disfiguration. Try to avoid popping — you could introduce bacteria. Cover up before re-entering the sun and consider aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce inflammation. Take cool showers and use aloe vera to ease the pain.

Keep Your Family Sun Safe Year-Round With These Tips 

While life begins with the sun, overexposure can prove harmful. Keep your family sun-safe year-round with these eight safety tips.