Being Safe in the Sun
Nobody wants to stay inside when the sun’s shining. So when you’re outside, using a little SunSense can protect you and your family from getting too much sun.
If you can, plan your outdoor activities before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when the sun is not at its strongest, or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or less.
If your shadow is shorter than you, it’s time to find some shade or go inside. If you can’t find shade, create your own. Take along an umbrella – that way you can have shade wherever you need it.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up. Choose clothing that is:
Wear a hat with a wide brim that covers your head, face, ears and neck. Hats like baseball caps won’t give you enough protection. Many skin cancers happen on the face and neck. These areas need extra protection.
Put sunscreen on your ears, chin and neck even when you’re wearing a hat.
Wear your sunglasses
Sunglasses can help prevent damage to your eyes by blocking a large amount of UV rays. Keep your shades on and make sure your children wear them too. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to be effective, but make sure you choose ones with:
Use sunscreen properly
Sunscreen can’t block all the sun’s rays. Use it along with shade, clothing and hats, not instead of them. Use sunscreen as a backup in your sun protection plan.
Your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and if you work outdoors or are planning to be outside most of the day, use an SPF 30.
Look for “broad spectrum” on the label. This means that the sunscreen offers protection against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays.
Apply your sunscreen generously and at least 20 minutes before going outside. Read the label and follow the instructions for reapplying. Don’t forget to cover your nose, ears and the tops of your feet. Use a waterproof sunscreen if you’re in or near water.
Avoid indoor tanning
Just like the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps release UV rays that can cause sunburn, damage skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. More on indoor tanning.
Check your skin regularly
You can never be completely safe from the sun. Over time, exposure to UV rays may cause skin cancer. Get to know the skin you’re in and report any changes to your doctor.
This article was provided by Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.