With more than 300 sunny days annually, sun safety is especially important in Arizona. Practicing good sun safety is important at any age, but it is critically important for children since much of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs before age 18. Be sure to use practice skin protection while you are outdoors especially when the UV rates are the highest in the middle of the day.
- Use Sunscreen Every Day!
Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can damage your skin. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply 15 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 ½ hours or sooner if perspiring or engaging in water activities. Wearing sunscreen every day is as important as brushing your teeth!
- Don’t forget to cover the kids!
- Wear a Hat and Lip Balm!
A hat with a wide brim offers good protection for your scalp, ears, face and the back of your neck. The bigger the brim, the better the protection. Protect lips with SPF 15+ balm.
- Wear Sunglasses!
Sunglasses reduce sun exposure that can damage your eyes and lead to cataracts. Check the label and choose sunglasses that block at least 90% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Cover Up!
Wear long sleeves and pants if possible to protect your skin when playing or working outdoors. Darker colors and fabric with a tight weave provide the most protection.
- Limit Time in the Midday Sun!
Limit your outdoor activities when the UV rays are the strongest and most damaging (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Remember: Watch Your Shadow–No Shadow, Seek Shade!
- Seek Shade!
Find something fun that doesn’t involve the direct sun. Look for shade under a tree, a ramada or find an indoor activity inside a gym, library or classroom during peak UV.
- Check the daily UV Index!
Did you know you can check the intensity of the sun’s rays every day? The ultraviolet or UV index is a way of measuring the sun’s radiation level. The scale is from 1 to 10. The higher the UV, the more careful you should be. A day with a UV rating of 10 requires more protection than a day with a rating of 1.
- Avoid Sun Lamps and Tanning Booths!
These artificial sources of UV light can cause as much damage as the sun’s UV rays. Remember, there is no such thing as a safe tan. To get a tan, skin damage has to occur!
Courtesy Arizona Department of Health www.azdhs.gov