While many of us enjoy outdoor activities, it’s important to ensure that we practice sun safety. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage the skin and eyes.
Overexposure to UV rays can lead to:
- Skin cancer
- Sun burns
- Skin damage
- Eye damage
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada. UV rays are the main risk factor for skin cancer. While everyone is at risk for developing skin cancer, it is one of the most preventable cancers.
Enjoy the sun safely and reduce your risk and the risk for those in your care of practicing and encouraging sun safe behaviors all year long. General sun safety tips:
- Consider the time of day. If you can, limit time in the sun when the UV index is 3 or higher, usually between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Seek shade. You can also make shade by using an umbrella, a UV protective tent, or pop-up shade shelter.
- Cover up. Wear UV-protective clothing, or clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wear a wide brimmed hat or a baseball cap with flaps that cover the head, neck, and ears.
- Wear sunscreen. Apply plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, and ensure the sunscreen is labelled ‘broad spectrum’ and ‘water resistant’. Reapply when needed, especially after swimming, sweating, or towelling. Use a lip balm that contains SPF.
- Wear sunglasses. Wear close fitting/wrap-around sunglasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
- Seek vitamin D elsewhere. Exposing yourself to UV rays is not the best way to meet vitamin D needs, and may result in unnecessary skin damage.