Although it might sound more like a dieter’s mantra, Don’t Fry Day is actually not about eating healthy food. Instead, the day is an initiative of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. So get that SPF sunscreen on hand and get ready to celebrate Don’t Fry Day!
History of Don’t Fry Day
Since the beginning of time, the sun has been critical for human life on planet Earth. Without the sun, people would literally freeze to death! But, less dramatically, people who do not get enough exposure to sunlight can have health problems such as Vitamin D deficiency and decreased serotonin. Lack of sunshine has also been linked to other health problems such as bone problems, skin problems, weight gain, depression, some cancers and more.
With that in mind, it’s important to remember that this day is not about making sure that people don’t get any sun exposure at all! The purpose of Don’t Fry Day is just what the name says – be careful not to get a sunburn.
The Skin Cancer Foundation, National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, and other important organizations have made it clear that getting a little sun is good, but getting too much sun, or a sunburn, can be dangerous. Especially if sunburns are repeated over and over again. In fact, sunburn is a leading cause of a few different forms of skin cancer, including the most deadly one, melanoma.
The great news is that sunburn is completely preventable! And that’s why Don’t Fry Day was established by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, to raise awareness for the various actions that can be taken to protect and prevent children and adults from too much exposure to the sun.
Situated just in advance of the warmest months of the year, at least in the northern hemisphere, Don’t Fry Day offers a kind reminder each year for people to be careful and take care of their skin health!
How to Celebrate Don’t Fry Day
Try out some of these ideas for celebrating Don’t Fry Day:
Use Sunburn Precaution Tactics
With the days of tanning and basking in the sun all day long behind us, the words on everyone’s lips these days might be something along the lines of ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’. This little mantra can be a great encouragement for sun worshippers to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen (SPF 30 and above is ideal), slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.
Throw Out Old Sunscreen
One important thing to remember is that sunscreen can lose its effectiveness after sitting for a while. So be sure to check the expiration dates on bottles of sunscreen and throw out anything that is too old to be effective. If there’s not a date on the bottle and no one in the family can remember when it was purchased, then it’s probably time for it to go!
Teach Kids About Sun Exposure
Don’t Fry Day is a great opportunity to teach kids about being sun smart in a light-hearted way. Sure, a little sunburn might not feel like the end of the world just one time, but kids need to know that prolonged exposure to the sun without protection, especially in certain areas of the world, can be a health risk. So perhaps parents and teachers can try to make the education about Don’t Fry Day a bit fun and talk about ways to avoid becoming a lobster and living in the pain of sunburn through prevention and protection methods.
Host an Indoor Activity
Rather than staying out in the sun all day, why not celebrate by holding an indoor picnic and having a movie marathon for at least part of the day? Or if the weather’s nice, grab some friends, get a beach umbrella, and have some sun-smart fun in the great outdoors. Just remember to follow the rules: slip, slop, slap and wrap between the hours of 10 and 4!