Thursday, July 2, 2009

Always Wear Sunscreen

And other 4th of July advice.

When you were a kid your mom was doing you a huge favor when she would cover you from head to toe in sunscreen while you tried to squirm away from her because all your friends were already on the beach building sandcastles. Always wear sunscreen is one of the few things that absolutely everyone can agree on.

This 4th of July weekend when you are at the beach, the barbeque or even the patio of your favorite restaurant, it’s a good idea to follow Mom's advice. It’s an even better idea to check and see which sunscreens are worth your while. We all see the SPF numbers, but unfortunately, there’s no real regulation on what those numbers (and all the various add-ons for water proofing and pore cleansing and etc.) mean.

This is why the Environmental Working Group undertook a major study to determine which sunscreens are helpful and which ones are nothing more than coconut smelling lotion. Make sure to check their searchable database before you choose which sunscreen to buy. But, whatever you buy, remember to wear sunscreen this 4th of July.

In keeping with a healthy 4th, we're betting there may be some grilling in your future (hey, it's better than frying, right?) But check the research on dieting before you barbeque. I know, I know, no one wants to hear it. What you may want to hear is that in some ways you’re better off eating less of what you like than you are eating diet foods. For those of us, myself included, who prefer a regular cheeseburger to a garden burger with sprouts, this is nothing but good news. For those of you who like cheez whiz on your burger, well, I can’t help you. Sciencentral has your report here.

Finally, and most importantly, do not hold fireworks longer than is necessary. As many as 9,000 people are injured annually in fireworks accidents. There’s a really simple way to avoid joining their number. Don’t hold on to fireworks and take two steps back. Your fingers will be so grateful they'll stay on your hand.

Seriously though. Wear your sunscreen.

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