Prairie Post (East Edition)

Sun Safety: May is National Sun Awareness Month

- Alberta Health Services

Over the weekend, I spent the day outside in my backyard. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the music was playing... but I forgot one important thing - sunscreen! I was so excited to finally be outside after a long week that I forgot the simple sun safety tips my mom taught me. As the days warm up, it’s important to remember some key sun safety tips. Protecting our skin from skin cancer is crucial. With May 2 marking the start of National Sun Awareness Month, here are some tips from the Canadian Cancer Society (Enjoy the sun safely | Canadian Cancer Society).

1. Check the UV index. You can easily check the UV index on your phone with a simple click on a weather app. If the index reaches 3 or more, you must protect your skin. The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 11 am and 4 pm, so try to reduce your time in the sun during those hours. Another good trick to knowing if UV rays are at their strongest is to see if your shadow is shorter than you.

2. Seek shade. Find a cozy tree with some shade and enjoy the warmth. Bringing an umbrella is also a good idea if you’re planning on spending time outdoors. Especially, anywhere with limited shade.

3. Cover up. Sunburns are painful! Clothing is your best friend for sun protection. Cover up as much skin as you can for UV ray protection. Try looking for clothing labelled as UPF (UV Protection Factor).

4. Put on a hat. If you’re like me and you have tons of hats in your closet, consider putting one on! Wearing a widebrimme­d hat can protect your head, face, ears, and neck.

5. Wear sunglasses. While all those cool sunglasses you bought look good, they may not have that UVA or UVB sun protection factor. Choose sunglasses that have the label UV 400 or 100% UV protection to protect your eyes from damage. 6. Use proper sunscreen. It’s there to protect you from skin damage! Applying a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is an important step in preventing UV rays from damaging your skin. Apply a generous amount to any skin that clothing doesn’t cover. Make sure to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Sunscreen should be used in conjunctio­n with the other safety tips.

Remember to protect your skin and have fun out there!

Enjoy the sun safely | Canadian Cancer Society

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