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Enjoy Summer Safely

What can I do to help prevent overexposure to the sun?

Nashville, Ark. – School’s out for summer! That means lazy days by the pool, 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. 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. Berries and fruit are good sources of antioxidants.
  • 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. Watch portion sizes!

             Finally, go ahead and buy that swimsuit. Find one you like and get out and enjoy being outside this summer. Just remember to apply the proper sunscreen often. 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.

Strawberry Lemonade Punch Recipe

            This recipe was shared by Deb Kreul, a member of the Twilight EHC club. She prepared this recipe last week for our secretary’s retirement event and it got rave reviews! You will enjoy serving this at any summer event!

  • 2 (12 oz.) cans Pink Lemonade (frozen)
  • 4 (12 oz.) cans of water
  • 1 liter lemon lime soda
  • 1 ½ pints strawberries (hulled and sliced)
  • 3 lemons (sliced thin)
  • 4-6 cups of ice
  1. Place the first three ingredients into a large pitcher and mix well.
  2. Next, slice the strawberries and lemons and reserve ½ cup of the strawberries to make a simple syrup.
  3. Place the sliced fruit, ice and strawberry syrup into the pitcher and stir.

*Note: If you can’t find frozen pink lemonade, use regular frozen lemonade and add a couple drops of red food coloring to make it pink.

            *To make the strawberry syrup: Take ½ cup to 1 cup of sliced strawberries and mash them up. Use a potato masher or chop in a blender or food processor. Place mashed strawberries and 2 teaspoons sugar into a small saucepan and stir for just a few minutes over low-medium heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve and the strawberries to break down and create a syrup. Let cool completely before adding to the lemonade.




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.