Quick Tip: If your shadow is shorter than you are, it’s time to find some shade or go inside. If you can’t find shade, create your own. Take along an umbrella – that way you can have shade wherever you need it.
Is there anything better than a gorgeous sunny day? Not many things feel better than warm sunlight on your skin, and when the sun is out, more people spend time doing outdoor activities. However, it is important to be aware that sun exposure has both positive and negative effects. The team at Healthy UBC wants your summertime to be fun, relaxing, energizing, safe and healthy, so with this in mind we’re asking you to take a few minutes to remember the basics of sun safety.
Sun Safety Tips
Before going out to enjoy the good weather, make sure you are aware of the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun, and the measures you can take to protect yourself and your family. Here are five ‘must dos’.
- Cover up: Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat made from breathable material. 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. to 4 p.m. A good rule of thumb is that when your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, such parks with big trees, partial roofs, awnings, umbrellas or gazebo tents. Always take a sun umbrella to the beach.
- Pay attention to the UV Index forecast: Tune into local radio, TV stations or online weather forecasts, to find the UV index forecast in your area. When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of cool liquids (especially water) before you feel thirsty. If sunny days are hot and humid, stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration (not having enough fluids in your body) is a dangerous condition, and thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as they tend to dehydrate you, not hydrate.
- Use sunscreen: Wear sunscreen on when the UV index is 3 or higher.
Looking for more information?
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends the following sources for information on sun safety:
Practical information on sun protection, a list of CDA recognized sunscreens in alphabetical order by brand name, and sun safety tips for athletes and spectators.
Health Canada offers information on the harmful effects of overexposure to UV rays and tips on how to avoid sun damage. Learn more about sun safety, how to keep cool during heat waves, how to choose sunglasses and sunscreen, and how to keep your kids safe in the sun.
This resource provides information on UV Index, North American and Caribbean forecasts, sun protection and the UV Index Sun Awareness Program for students.
Understanding your Travel Benefits – June 30 2015 @ 12-1pm
The summer is nearly here and lots of us and getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.