Tips for staying safe at home and away over Spring Break

By Lauren Wiltshire | 2/24/13 6:02pm

It is finally the week before spring break. No more than five days of classes. Four more wake ups. We did it. We got through midterms, we got through those dreaded group projects, and we got through all nighters.

Well, at least halfway through all of that.

And now, as a reward, hopefully, we can travel to some sweet sunshine and temperatures above freezing.

I cannot contain my excitement to get on that flight and head south. While I encourage everyone to bask in the sun, soak it all in, and of course bring some back please remember how dangerous UV light is. I am not one to talk, as I had a tough case of skin poisoning over the summer, but I learned my lesson. I found some great tricks that I would highly recommend following. They do not require you to take time and go out of your way and eventually they will become habit.

1) Always use sunscreen. Always. No excuses. Even an SPF 15 protects your skin more than none. Apply once every three hours for maximum protection. Note that sunscreen does not stop your skin from absorbing that great tan we yearn for, but it does stop your from horrible things like skin cancer and painful blisters from sunburns.

2) Wear a hat. A hat protects your skin especially your face, from harmful rays. You can find stylish and affordable hats at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Macy’s, Forever 21 and Francesca’s. You can also find clothing with SPF protection built in. While these kinds of clothing are sometimes tricky to find, they offer great protection that you don’t have to reapply or think about. Some swimsuits have extra protection to. While they aren’t always “super cute” they can be very comfortable and breathable, especially in the hot air. Check stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods or Kohl’s.

3) Always make sure your sunglasses have UVB and UVA protection, 100% protection. (Your sunscreen should have both these, too!)

4) Most importantly, know the facts about skin cancers and your risk factors. Protect yourself even more if you have pale skin, have freckles, have red or blonde hair, have a history of skin cancers in your family, have lots of moles on your body or have had more than one blistering sunburn in your life.

For those of you not traveling to somewhere south to soak up the rays here are some tips to bring the warmth to you.

1) Pick out a new swimsuit that you can wear over the summer, when Michigan is decently warm. Add accessories like flip-flops, sunglasses, and beach towels.

2) Take advantage of the Michigan winter, with it’s beautiful snowfall and the wide array of slopes available to ski and snowboard down. While this might not be “warm” it is a great workout and you can definitely get warm. Take advantage of our Pure Michigan.

To share ideas on how to spend your Spring Break at home or away, email


“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”—Carrie Bradshaw

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