The warmer weather and sunshine are finally here! Most of us like to work or enjoy outdoor activities on a sunny day, but too much sun can be harmful. Unprotected skin can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes of sun exposure. You can protect yourself and still have fun in the sun. Before you head outdoors, follow these sun safety tips by Health Canada:
Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat made from breathable fabric. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Limit your time in the sun. Keep out of the sun and heat between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, like a park with big trees, partial roofs, awnings, umbrellas or gazebo tents. Always take an umbrella to the beach.
Use the UV Index forecast. Tune into local radio and TV stations or check online for the UV index forecast in your area. When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Use sunscreen. Put sunscreen on when the UV index is 3 or more.
Drink plenty of cool liquids (especially water) before you feel thirsty. If sunny days are also hot and humid, stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration (not having enough fluids in your body) is dangerous, and thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.
Avoid using tanning beds. If you do use them, understand the risks and learn how to protect yourself.