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By the time you are reading this, you are probably back to school. Hayden and I have been back for about one month. Where I live in New England, the weather has been unusually hot! Unless it is raining really hard, we usually go outside for recess. At our school, we have two playgrounds; the little kids usually use the one closer to the school, and the bigger kids go to the one next to the soccer field. We can choose to play on the playground, or play in the field. The problem is, it’s really hot and really sunny. Don’t get me wrong, if I had to choose recess or staying in class, I would definitely choose recess, but the thing is....there really isn’t any shade anywhere except for one tiny area under the play structure, and there is usually a ton of kids there. So, when we are outside for recess or gym, we are mostly in the sun. Sometimes we feel like we are actually “cooking” when we are outside. Fortunately, we have been checking the UV Index each day and realize that although it is hot the average UV Index is much lower than in the spring or summer. This past month the UV has been mostly moderate, 5-7 on a scale from 1 to 11+.
Before school, my mom or dad has us put on sunscreen before we leave the house. Our recess is after lunch, which happens to be around 12:30 or 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I know that this is the time of day that UV rays are strongest. I knew that the sunscreen bottle said that you need to be reapply every 2 hours.  However, I learned last spring, in a SunAWARE class, that this means after two hours exposed to UV rays.  I also learned that UV rays break down sunscreen. The higher the UV the faster sunscreen disappears off your skin and you loose its protective benefit. The rule to reapply every 2 hours is really a recommendation based on research that shows sunscreen only lasts about 2 hours when exposed UV radiation. I was really glad to hear this because my problem is, it is so hard to remember to put it on again, and it is kind of a pain to do it too. I think that I mentioned in a previous blog that I do not like to feel sticky from sunscreen. What is worse, is feeling sticky and then going to eat lunch. Gross!! I am really happy to know now that the sunscreen that I applied before I left home is still going to protect me for the recess period. I now know that after recess, because of UV exposure and sweating, I would need to reapply before going out again. I also recommend wearing a UV shirt and hat to school, but I heard some schools won’t let you wear hats at recess. So what is a kid to do?? It’s not always easy to protect yourself.

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