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revisedJuly 26, 2007
Arrow BulletProtecting Yourself

The health risks associated with excessive sunlight (ultraviolet radiation, UVA/UVB rays) are largely preventable. Here are some tips to protect you against the sun:

Follow Weather Forecasts

  • Listen to the daily UV index on the weather forecast to plan your outdoor activities.

Seek Shade

  • Not all shade provides the same protection from UV exposure. Shade is most effective if it blocks both indirect and direct rays.
  • Plan your daily outdoor activities so you are not in direct sunlight during the most intense UV radiation between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade or create shade when doing outdoor activities. Use umbrellas, gazebos, tents, awnings, canopies and the natural shade created by buildings, structures and trees.
  • Keep babies under one year, out of direct sunlight.

Use Sunscreen

  • Use a sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection with a SPF 15 or higher.  Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and every 2-3 hours.  Reapply sunscreen after swimming or strenuous exercise.
  • Outdoor workers should use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPS 30 or higher.
  • If you use insect repellant, apply it 30 minutes after you apply sunscreen, or just before you go outside.

Wear Sun-safe Clothing

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim or a back flap to cover the back of the neck and ears, and to shield the face.
  • Wear clothing made of tightly woven fabric that blocks the sun’s rays .
  • Wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants when in the sun.
  • Apply sunscreen under sheer clothing.
  • Wear a T-shirt, as well as sunscreen, when in the water.

Wear UV-protective Sunglasses

  • Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Check your shadow

  • When your shadow is shorter, the sun is stronger, therefore stay out of the sun.
  • When your shadow is taller, it is safer to be outside.
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Revised: July 26, 2007

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