How do I protect myself from UV rays? Whether you’re a sun baby or hoping for rain, it’s been hard to avoid the rays in the last few days. Although time in the sun is good for us, we need to be careful and mind our pale Irish skin.

Seek shade: An obvious but very important way to limit your exposure to UV light is to avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too long. This is particularly important between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when UV light is strongest. If you are unsure about the strength of the sun’s rays, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it is important to protect yourself.

Protect your skin with clothing: When you are out in the sun, wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. Clothes provide different levels of UV protection, depending on many factors. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors.

Use sunscreen: It’s important to know that sunscreen does not provide total protection against all UV rays. Therefore, a sunscreen should not be used as a way to prolong your time in the sun. Even with proper sunscreen use, some rays get through, which is why using other forms of sun protection, is also important. When choosing a sunscreen product, be sure to read the label before you buy. Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays) and with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher are recommended. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays - a higher number means more protection.

Wear sunglasses that block UV rays: UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves. Research has shown that long hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increase your chances of developing some eye diseases.

The ideal sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy, check the label to make sure they do.

Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Many people believe the UV rays of tanning beds are harmless. This is not true. Tanning lamps give out UVA and usually UVB rays as well. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause long-term skin damage, and can contribute to skin cancer. Tanning bed use has been linked with an increased risk of melanoma, especially if it is started before the age of 30. Most skin doctors and health organizations recommend not using tanning beds and sun lamps.

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Happy 4th of July from the IPC
The IPC would like to wish you and yours a very happy and healthy 4th of July!! We hope it’s a cracker!

‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been’ -George Eliot

100-year-old woman has finally graduated from primary school, over 90 years after she first began her studies. Manuela Hernandez, from Mexico, apparently left school after a year to help her poor family at home. However the grandmother resumed her studies last year and has now received her primary school diploma. According to reports she is now planning to continue her education with secondary school studies. Speaking to Uno TV, Manuela explained: “I liked school very much, but I could not continue studying. By the next year I could already wash and iron... and they needed someone to work.” She is certainly testament that it’s never too late!
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