Summer Sun Safety

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Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that can harm your skin and eyes. UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze.

Water, sand, concrete and snow can reflect and even increase the sun’s burning rays.

Environment Canada developed the UV Index to inform Canadians about the strength of the sun’s UV(ultraviolet) rays. UV rays can cause sunburns, eye cataracts, skin aging and skin cancer. The higher the UV Index number, the stronger the sun’s rays and the greater the need to take precautions when in the sun.

Minimize Sun Exposure Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Listen for Environment Canada’s UV Index – it’s included in your local weather forecast whenever it is expected to reach 3 or more that day.
  • If you work outdoors, avoid the sun during lunch and breaks, especially at midday.

Seek Shade or Create Your Own

  • Look for shaded areas to do outdoor activities wherever possible (e.g. trees, shade of building, canopy).

Cover Up

  • Put on clothing made with a tight weave to cover as much of your skin as possible.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade the face and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses (sunglasses or safety eyewear should protect against both UVA and UVB rays).

Use Sunscreen

  • Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen and lip balm (one that protects against UVA and UVB rays) with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
  • If you work outdoors a better choice would be sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Apply sunscreen generously and evenly about 30 minutes before sun exposure and again 20 minutes later.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or perspiring heavily

It is never too early to protect your baby from the sun. Babies have sensitive skin that can burn rapidly.

  • Keep babies under one year old out of the sun as much as possible, either in a covered stroller or in the shade. Some sun can be reflected into the shade so only go out early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • Cover the skin with loose fitting clothing, such as long pants and a hat.
  • You can use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on exposed skin. Apply a minimal amount to small areas, such as the face and back of hands. Don’t put sunscreen too close to the eyes as babies may rub that area.