The last Monday of May is our day to honor those who have served our country. Originally known as Decoration Day after the Civil War, it is now known as Memorial Day. It is also the unofficial start of summer and can include barbecues and trips to the beach or pool. It’s not only important to understand what Memorial Day stands for, but to make sure we celebrate it in a safe manner. The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more appropriate.
Common Memorial Day celebrations can vary from a parade to a barbecue or even a trip to the beach, but the one thing they have in common is that they are predominantly outside in warm, sunny weather. Besides the obvious dangers of over-imbibing, we can face some dangers or even some environmental difficulties that can make the most benign celebration hazardous or even unhealthy. We have all been warned about the dangers of skin cancer, but often we neglect to protect our largest organ…our epidermis. As you can see by the chart, melanoma rates have steadily increased throughout the years. With Memorial Day at the end of May, the sun’s UV rays are practically at their strongest so it’s even more important to avoid any type of sunburn or overexposure that can lead to any type of melanoma. Many times a trip to the beach can be a fun, relaxing Memorial Day weekend trip. For those who have difficulty walking without the aid of a cane, walker, or a wheelchair this environment is not exactly conducive to a steady gait. Adaptive mobility aids that are specifically designed to overcome uneven sandy terrain are a must for us or our loved ones so that Memorial Day is not spent in a hospital.
The quote by Benjamin Franklin goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and it has never been more important when it comes to your health. With skin cancer numbers increasing, what is the best way to protect yourself and still be able to enjoy a trip to the beach or a relaxing day by the pool? One of the simplest ways to protect your skin from dangerous melanomas is through the use of sunscreen. These sunscreens can block both UVA and UVB rays that can harm and damage your skin and are rated by their SPF or sun protection factor. The higher the number, the greater the skin protection. Many even provide moisturizers to keep your skin from drying out. To prevent your skin from drying out after exposure to the sun, an after sun aloe vera gel/lotion can sooth irritated skin from overexposure to the sun’s rays. Aloe Vera has long been used as a topical agent for skincare. You could even opt for a sun hat that has a SPF factor built-in. This hat has a wide brim that can shade our faces from the potentially dangerous UV rays of the sun. If you must tan, you can avoid the sun altogether with a sunless self tanner. This uses natural agents to hasten the natural coloring of the skin. For those that may need some assistance walking, the use of an all-terrain beach walker can help maintain a steady base even on the soft, uneven terrain of a sandy beach. Specifically designed with oversize wheels, these walkers can overcome any stability issue safely. Even those that require a wheelchair can benefit from an all-terrain wheelchair for the same stability and traction to overcome sand. One way to take the entire family to the beach easily is with a beach pediatric stroller. Anyone who has tried to push a stroller across sand can attest to the difficulty of this task. Enjoy the beach no matter what your need for mobility is!!
Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer and this means enjoying the great outdoors. Knowing where the potential hazards may be and utilizing the proper equipment can help you stay healthy and enjoy the long weekend celebrations with friends and family.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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