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Order Up Some Sunscreen

The Harry Potter stars know that SPF numbers can protect you from getting burned this summer!

By Melissa Stewart

MATH for your daily life

This summer, millions of people will rush to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But how will Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson—the actors who play Harry, Ron, and Hermione—spend their summer vacation away from Hogwarts? Emma and Rupert may head to the beach, but probably not Daniel! When outdoors, he tries to stay in the shade, and always wears plenty of sunscreen. “Basically, it is so thick it is as if I am wearing a suit of armor!” Daniel told MATH.

Daniel and his co-stars have fair skin, so it doesn’t take long for the sizzling sun to do real damage. Emma remembers one sunburn nightmare from a few years ago. “I fell asleep in the sun and my back burnt like nothing else,” she said. “It was red and horrible and painful.”

Rupert has similar stories. “I usually forget to wear sunscreen,” he admitted to us. “And that’s why I burn.”

Now that summer’s on the way, it’s time for everyone to start taking skin protection seriously. To avoid painful sunburns and other sun damage, wear sunglasses, a hat, and a sunscreen with the most appropriate Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Not only do sunscreens help prevent sunburns now, they also reduce your chances of developing skin cancers when you’re older. The chart on page 5 can help you select the best SPF for your skin type and the amount of time you plan to spend in the sun. You don’t have to be a wizard to be sun-smart!

1. Rupert Grint has very fair skin. If he will be at the beach from 12:00 to 2:00, what SPF should he look for when he buys sunscreen?

2. a. Emma Watson has fair skin. If she borrows Rupert’s sunscreen from question #1, what’s the longest she can safely stay out in the sun?

b. If instead, she buys sunscreen with an SPF of 15, how much sooner should she head indoors?

3. Even though Daniel Radcliffe tries to avoid the sun, sometimes he has to film outdoor scenes. If he wears sunscreen with an SPF of 45, and doesn’t even know his skin type, what is the least amount of time he could spend outside filming a Quidditch match?

4. If you were an actor in a Harry Potter movie, and were filming an outdoor scene, what level of SPF sunscreen would you choose for…

a. one hour of protection?

b. three hours of protection?

c. six hours of protection?


Original article found here: Scholastic | May 2007

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