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Letter: It’s That Time Again

Well it’s official – summer is in full swing. Temperatures are soaring and that can only mean one thing – throngs of Long Islanders heading to our beaches every chance they get. Many will look forward to a day of fun in the sun and some relief from the heat, not to mention the much-coveted golden tan.

The prospect of dealing with massive traffic jams does not deter nor hamper the enthusiasm of the diehard beach goer. SUVs are packed with coolers, blankets, towels, Frisbees and the like. Once they secure a parking space, which is no simple feat by any means, they lug all their stuff onto the hot sand in quest of the perfect spot; finally situated, the mission to work on that golden tan is under way. I clearly remember those days when baby oil and a shiny aluminum type tray was the rage. I also remember calling it a day after five hours of baking with no umbrella in sight to shield me and my friends from the glare of the UVA/UVB rays. In fact, who even knew what those letters meant or how deadly they could become once abused. My friends and I knew that if we were lucky enough not to peel for three to four days, our bronzed skin was going to look great in our summer whites and all that sweating was worth it.

So here we are some 40 odd years later and guess what? Mother Nature has a way of playing catch up with us and it’s now time to pay for all the “fun and frying” we did way back when. It now appears that these little brown spots can’t pass for cute little freckles, not for a person of a certain age, that’s for sure. Wrinkles and necks that look like accordions are pretty hard to cover up at this stage of the game.

Who wants to wear a scarf wrapped around their neck in 90-degree heat?   Warnings are given to our younger generation to take heed and lather on as much SPF as possible. Hopefully being informed and heeding advice from the medical experts not to spend excessive amounts of time in the sun during peak hours just might deter them. To all those young people who might give a thought to the consequences; take some advice from people who have walked in your sandals in what seems like just yesterday, “youth and good skin” does not spring eternal. You too are going to have your ‘tomorrow’. Be aware, be informed, and be healthy and safe.

Diane Sciacchitano, North Massapequa