Protect from harmful rays of the sun | outdoor sports

By Julie Geiser / Outdoor columnist

Summer brings many of us outside for fun, but it also means knowing how to protect your skin from sunburn and the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays so you can be safe and enjoy the outdoors. outside.

The ultraviolet rays that reach the Earth’s surface are of two types: ultraviolet A (UVA) or tanning rays, which do not cause sunburn except in very high doses, and ultraviolet B (UVB), which can burn the skin. UVA rays can pass through the windows of cars, homes and offices, unlike UVB rays. Both types penetrate the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, causing damage and contributing to the development of skin cancer.

Ultraviolet rays passing through the stratum corneum cause pigment-producing cells called melanocytes to produce brown pigment or melanin. Melanin is the effort of the skin to protect itself from invading rays and prevent damage to skin structures, and this is how a tan will form.

If your skin fails to produce the protective pigment melanin, or if you are exposed to the sun before enough of the pigment can be made and dispersed, ultraviolet rays kill skin cells. Even mild sunburns that produce a little redness can destroy the top layer of your skin.

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Ultraviolet light can even damage the dermis, the layer that gives your skin its shape, texture, strength, and elasticity. Sunlight breaks down the thick and strong tissue structure of the dermis, weakening it and making it thin, less elastic and causing it to appear wrinkled and saggy.

Sun damage is permanent and if skin damage has occurred, you should avoid excessive sun exposure. Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days, as ultraviolet rays can cause burns through clouds. You can still lead an active outdoor life. Remember to take precautions to limit serious skin problems later in life. A severe childhood sunburn doubles your chances of developing malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, or other types of skin cancer. If premature wrinkles and age spots don’t scare you, then cancer should.

Here are some ways to prevent the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your skin:

» Wear a wide-brimmed hat and tightly woven long-sleeved shirts. These days, there are many lines of quick-drying sun protection clothing made of breathable, stylish and protective fabrics.

» If you can’t cover yourself, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Make sure it has UVA and UVB protection. Apply generously to exposed skin 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two to three hours depending on your activity. Reapply after vigorous activity that may remove product, such as swimming, wiping, or excessive sweating.

» Make sure your sunscreen contains one of the following active ingredients: avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

» Avoid overexposure to the sun without protection, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

» Avoid the use of tanning beds.

» Be aware that some medications can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about your medications.

» Never allow infants or young children to play or sleep in the sun in a playpen, stroller or pram.

» Never let young children stay in the sun for long periods of time, even if they are wearing sunscreen.

» Get your children used to wearing sunscreen. Pay particular attention to the most exposed areas, such as the face, lips, ears, neck, shoulders, back, knees and tops of the feet. Creating good habits at a young age will hopefully carry over from childhood into adulthood.

» Provide teens with sunscreen if they must be outdoors for long periods of time during the summer. Make sure they understand the importance of using it.

The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin often. See your doctor right away if you notice any abnormally dark or discolored patches or patches, bleeding, peeling skin in certain areas, and crusting or a change in the color, size, or shape of a mole.

Enders SRA Tank Extravaganza

Enders State Recreation Area will host its annual extravaganza on June 25. It’s a fun day you’ll want to attend.

The day will start with a 5 km run. Race registration is at 7 a.m. and this event starts at 8 a.m. MT.

At 9am MT, many hands-on, interactive and fun events will fill the day at Enders. Try kayaking, visit the anti-crime trailer, bouncy house, blacksmith shop, browse the craft fair and enjoy the various food vendors.

There will be a display of working trucks, cars and tractors, watermelon food, outdoor games and a horseshoe tournament, all followed by a free barbecue and live music.

Come and go as you please for the day or come for the weekend and camp. All events and activities are free to the public thanks to numerous sponsors. A park entry permit is required and available on Enders or online at the Game and Parks Commission website,

For more information on the Extravaganza, call the Enders SRA office or visit the Game and Parks web page schedule.

Nebraska has many native pollinators, including more than 200 species of butterflies alone. Celebrate the role they play during Nebraska Pollinator Week June 20-26.

Through crop pollination, pollinating insects add more than $217 billion to the global economy. The species also pollinate more than 180,000 plant species worldwide, ensuring that ecosystems produce food for countless other species, including pheasants, songbirds and mammals.

Nebraska Pollinator Week is the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s statewide focus on the international Pollinator Week effort. Pollinator Week, in Nebraska and around the world, is an effort to celebrate and raise awareness of pollinators and their conservation.

The public is encouraged to participate in virtual and public events in Nebraska. A list of these events is available online at

Game and Parks also hosts the Nebraska Pollinator Week Challenge. The goal is for entrants to submit at least five photographic pollinator observations using the iNaturalist online platform. Learn more about the Nebraska Pollinator Week Challenge at

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