Take cover! Protect outdoor gatherings and plants from the unrelenting sun

Despite awareness of UV radiation, U.S. melanoma rates keep rising, says the American Cancer Society.

“Our fear is people are not using sunscreen correctly, and even when they do, many are using it inappropriately,” said Kristen Thompson, an executive director for the American Cancer Society, in a statement. “People may be using sunscreen to go out in the sun in the middle of the day, when the risk is highest, and to stay out longer. … Many people do not use enough sunscreen and do not re-apply frequently enough.”

The organization recommends:

Stay in the shade: Avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too long between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV light is strongest.

Protect with clothing: Long-sleeved shirts, long pants or long skirts cover the most skin. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven pieces. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.

Wear a hat: Use hats that have brims that measure at least 2 to 3 inches all around.


American Cancer Society California: www.cancer.org/about-us/local/california.html

Kaveri & Lisa Collection: www.lisafontanarosa.com

Sunbrella: www.sunbrella.com/en-us

It’s summertime and the living can be easy, but also breezy, windy and hot, making it difficult for entertaining, not to mention the health risks from potentially dangerous doses of the sun.

Protect yourself and guests with some ideas that will still allow everyone to enjoy backyard fun. The relentless heat from the sun’s rays also can pose a threat to pets and plants.

Find some simple ways — awnings, canopies, curtains, umbrellas, sail cloths — to cover outdoor living spaces without spending a lot of money. And for your plants, consider extra mulch, early morning watering and using companion plants that can take the heat to protect those that don’t.

“Whether you’re a homeowner, a guest at a resort or enjoying any kind of outdoor space, sporting event, outdoor dining, whatever, people enjoy being outside,” said Vince Hankins, industrial business manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, the makers of the performance fabric Sunbrella. “And while there are so many healthful aspects of being outdoors, people are quite concerned about what can be the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation over a long period of time.”

Some good choices for backyards are shade structures. They provide an opportunity…

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