CADYVILLE — The North Country is finally enjoying some sunshine and warm temperatures, so it’s a good time to remind residents to take precautions whenever exposed to the sun.
The Clinton County Health Department and the Town of Plattsburgh have teamed up to emphasize the importance of using sunscreen by distributing free samples of the sun-blocking agent at Cadyville Beach.
“It’s a way for us to promote burn safety in regards to the sun,” said Maryann Barto, public-health educator for the Health Department.
The pilot program is being funding by the Health Department’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program and may be expanded to other public facilities if proven successful this summer, Barto added.
The packets include a bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen, aloe vera to sooth sunburned skin, hand sanitizer and lip balm.
“If you get sunburned, you’re exposing yourself to a variety of different issues, especially the potential for skin cancer and skin poisoning,” Barto said.
“There are also immediate problems such as dehydration.”
Sunscreens help block or reduce dangerous ultraviolet rays from the sun. The higher the SPF factor, the more protection sunscreen provides, though SPF refers specifically to UV-B rays, which cause the skin to burn.
Sunscreens that offer “full spectrum protection” will also protect against UV-A rays, which can cause cancer and premature aging.
“We’re happy to be working with the Health Department in providing this kind of service,” said Melanie Defayette, recreation director for the Town of Plattsburgh.
“This is a small neighborhood beach that serves a lot of regulars. This (program) is a great way to reach out to the public.”
The beach, located on the Saranac River just west of the hamlet of Cadyville, serves many area families and is also host to town-sponsored swimming lessons.