The hottest days of summer have arrived in Nebraska, prompting reminders from health officials to drink plenty of water and wear light-weight, light-colored clothing. Also, take plenty of breaks if you’re exerting in the sun, especially when high temperatures are in the upper 80s and lower 90s.
Epidemiologist Patty Quinlisk encourages everyone who’s spending time outdoors to use plenty of sunscreen.
“We know that people who get burned or have lots of sun exposure are at risk for quite a few health events that you don’t want, the worst one being a kind of skin cancer called melanoma,” Quinlisk said. “But the bottom line is, you don’t want to burn yourself and you need to take precautions.”
Around 340 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are expected to be diagnosed in Nebraska this year.
Quinlisk advises applying sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors. If you’re also using bug spray, it should be added on top of sunscreen.
“We do recommend you use them separately, that way you use the right amounts of both,” she says. “Put your sunscreen on first, then put bug spray on top of it. That makes sure the bug spray is on the outside and will repel the insects.”
Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, according to Quinlisk.