Health Topics

Sun Safety

Here are things that you can do to protect yourself and your family from the sun and harmful UV rays:

  • Check the weather forecast for the daily UV Index every day to plan outdoor activities.
  • When the UV index is 3 or higher:
    • Limit time in the direct sun between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
    • Find shade from trees, umbrellas or buildings.
    • Wear hats with wide brims that cover your ears, face and back of the neck.
    • Wear loose-fitting, light weight clothing that covers your arms and legs.
    • Wear close fitting / wraparound sunglasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection. Anytime of the day all year round.
    • Wear sunglasses that cover the entire eye.
    • Use sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” and “water-resistant” with a Sun Protective Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher on everybody older than six months of age.
  • Always keep babies out of direct sunlight or in the shade such as under a tree, umbrella or canopy.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Do not use tanning beds or deliberately try to get a suntan, and avoid getting sunburn.

How to use sunscreen

Here are some tips on how to use sunscreen:

  • Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum and water- resistant with a Sun Protective Factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the bottle or tube.
  • Apply enough sunscreen to leave a light film on your skin (e.g., one palm‐full for each arm and one for each leg).
  • Apply sunscreen to ears, nose, tops of feet and backs of knees. back of neck and backs of legs.  Use sunscreen lip balm to protect your lips. 
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside.
  • Apply sunscreen before other skin products. Re-apply sunscreen regularly, especially after sweating, swimming, or toweling.
  • Make sure to use sunscreen even on cloudy, hazy, foggy and cold days.
  • Sunscreen should also be used during the winter months on exposed areas of skin.
  • Do not put sunscreen on babies less than 6 months of age.
  • Always test for an allergic reaction when first using a sunscreen.  Apply a small amount on the inside of your forearm for two or three days in a row.  If the skin reacts or turns red, change sunscreens.