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Enjoy Summer Safely

Enjoy your summer fun but take precautions to protect your skin.

Nashville, Ark. – School’s out for summer! That means lazy days by the pool, camps, lake or just playing out in the yard running through the water sprinkler. Before you pull out the swimsuit and jump in the water to cool off, take a few precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun and the chance of damaging your skin.

  • Wear Sunscreen. First and foremost always wear sunscreen when you are going to spend time outdoors. Choose the right sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor of SPF 30. If you have a history of skin cancer you may need a higher SPF. The level of SPF indicates the length of time you will be protected from ultraviolet rays (UVB) compared to the time it would take for you to sunburn without protection. So if your skin would normally redden in 20 minutes, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will protect you 30 times longer. Try to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you are exposed to the sun.
  • Wear Sunglasses. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light is the highest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Make sure your sunglasses have UV protection. You will want to buy sunglasses that block 99 percent of UVB rays and 0 percent of all UVA rays. Too much sun can damage the cornea in your eye which can lead to cataracts and hurt your retina, leading to macular degeneration.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing. Loose-fitting, dark clothing made from tightly-woven fabric offers the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. However, keep in mind that a typical t-shirt has an SPF rating of lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.
  • Sun exposure isn’t all bad. Some exposure to the sun can in fact be good for you because it’s the key source of Vitamin D. However, sun exposure should be limited to 15 minutes. The best time to get sun is before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. A good rule to remember is to get sun when your shadow is taller than you are.
  • Eat the right foods. Eat foods high in antioxidants to help protect you from the sun. Leafy green vegetables are the best source. Also, eating tomatoes will help you protect against burns according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drink 8 10 glasses of water every day. Cutting out the sugary drinks will cut out calories, and water fills you up more than soft drinks. Drinking water is also better for your skin.
  • Eat more often. Eating five times a day can actually help you lose weight. Space out your eating with three normal meals and two snacks. Have breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and then an evening snack. This will speed up your metabolism and prevent your body from going on starvation mode, which causes the body to store fat for future energy.

For more information about summer safety, drinking plenty of water or eating a healthy diet, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

This article was adapted from UAMS on their website Check it out; they always have lots of good information and several interactive tools to help keep you healthy.

Recipe of the Week

            Don’t cook inside this summer! Save on energy costs by cooking outside on the grill. Here is a great recipe to try with your family.

  • 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes (24 cubes, or about 2 chicken breasts)

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced (24 pieces)

  • 8 – 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking

For sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

            Preheat grill.

  1. Thread three chicken cubes and three pineapple chunks alternately on each presoaked skewer.

  2. Combine ingredients for sauce and mix well; separate into two bowls and set aside one bowl for later.

  3. Grill skewers for 3 – 5 minutes on each side.

  4. Brush or spoon sauce from one bowl onto chicken and pineapple about every other minute.

  5. Discard the sauce in this bowl when done.

  6. To prevent chicken from drying out, finish cooking skewers in a 350° oven immediately after grilling until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°.

  7. Using a clean brush or spoon, coat with sauce from the reserved bowl before serving.

                Yield: 4 servings, two skewers each serving size

  1. Nutrition Information per serving: 156 calories, 2 g fat, 320 mg sodium, 16 g Carbohydrates.


By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.