To keep you and your child safe, you should:
- 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 liquids (especially water). If sunny days are also hot and humid stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration is dangerous and thirst is not always a good indicator of how often you should drink liquids.
- Avoid using tanning beds. If you do use them, understand the risks and learn how to protect yourself.
Tips for choosing sunscreen:
- Choose a high SPF. Protect your health by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF)of at least 15. The sunscreen should also say “broad-spectrum” on the label, to screen out most of the UVA and UVB rays.
- Look for “water resistant”. Look for claims on the label that the product stays on better in water (“water resistant”, “very water resistant”).
- Read application instructions. For best results, be sure to follow the instructions on the product label.
- Use lots of sunscreen. Use the recommended amount of sunscreen.
- Apply it early. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside; reapply 20 minutes after going outside and at least every 2 hours after that. Use a generous amount. Cover exposed areas generously, including ears, nose, the tops of feet and backs of knees.
- Reapply often. Reapply sunscreen often to get the best possible protection especially if you are swimming or sweating heavily.
- Protect yourself. Sunscreen and insect repellents can be used safely together. Apply the sunscreen first, then the insect repellent.
- Sunscreens and babies. Do not put sunscreen on babies less than 6 months of age. Keep them out of the sun and heat as their skin and bodies are much more sensitive than an adult’s.
- Test for an allergic reaction. Before using any tanning product on you or your child check for an allergic reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin. Apply it to a small patch of skin on the inner forearm for several days in a row. If the skin turns red or otherwise reacts, change products.