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Sun Safety Tips for Everyone

As the weather gets warmer, we are more inclined to go outdoors and enjoy the sun. What we don’t want is a mean sunburn that will last for weeks.Always make sure to use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and as often as possible. It does not mean you can stay out longer by wearing sunscreen. If your skin turns even a little pink, you should go inside! Here are some tips to help you stay safe outside…

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.

Click here to read more tips on sun safety.

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