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.
- 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 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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July 26, 2007