8 tips for preventing sunburn on patrol By:



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By Police1 staff

In 2013 a police officer brought the increased dangers of skin cancer for cops to our attention after he discovered he had melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. He wanted to share his story with Police1 readers so that more police officers would be aware of the dangers of policing without sun protection.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is also preventable. Here are eight precautions to protect your skin you should keep in mind while on patrol. After reading this list watch Gordon Graham explain why you should be protecting your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses on patrol.

1. Use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater year-round for all skin types. The fairer the skin, the higher the SPF should be.

2. Choose a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation.

3. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and make sure to get tougher spots like your ears, hands, and around your eyes.

4. With a job as physically active as policing, you should be using a sunscreen that is water-proof or water-resistant.

Broad Spectrum Sunscreens

Select and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater


Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen Spray SPF 50


Neutrogena Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 45


CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50


Amazon Brand Solimo Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

5. Don’t slack off in the winter – the sun’s harmful powers are much higher when there is snow on the ground.

6. Lips get sunburned too, so apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.

7. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.

8. Wear a thick hat. You can test its thickness by holding it up to light; if it’s thick enough, no sunlight should shine through.

Watch this video from Gordon Graham about why you should be protecting your eyes from the sun with sunglasses.

This article, originally published on November 15, 2013, has been updated.