Algoma Public Health
- Sun Safety
We look forward to warmer weather and more sunshine, but too much sun during childhood can cause many problems later in life. All skin colours are at risk for premature skin aging, skin cancers and even eye damage.
Check your skin regularly for changes in moles or for sores that do not heal. Consult your health professional if you have any concerns.
When you're looking for skin changes, think A.B.C.D.E.
- A: Asymmetry (one side looks different than the other)
- B: Border (the edge is irregular)
- C: Colour (there are colour differences in the lesion or spot: brown, black, red, grey, or white)
- D: Diameter (the lesion or spot is getting bigger)
- E: Evolution (changes in colour, size, shape, or symptoms such as itching, bleeding or tenderness)
Sun Safety Guidelines
- Drink water all day.
- Wear a hat with a 3-4" brim or a back flap. Wear a hat as much as possible.
- Cover and protect your skin with clothing. Lycra/polyester is better than cotton. Give your skin a break from the sun and put on a long sleeve shirt and long pants.
- Use a broad spectrum (protects against both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more in ALL kinds of weather year round. Ask your pharmacist for help when choosing a sunscreen.
- People with fair hair or fair skin or who burn easily should use a higher SPF.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply throughout the day, especially if perspiring, after swimming or getting wet.
- Sunblock such as Zinc Oxide blocks the sun's rays. Apply sunblock to nose and ears.
- Protect lips using a lip balm with a SPF of 30 or more.
- Use sunglasses that state they protect against UVA and UVB rays.
- Find some shade, especially during the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go indoors to cool off, seek shade under a tree or use an umbrella.
- Be aware of surroundings. Water, sand, concrete, light-coloured surfaces and snow reflect the sun's rays.
- Learn about the UV Index. Before heading outdoors, check out the daily Weather Network UV Report for your area. The higher the number, the stronger the UV rays, the greater the need to protect yourself.
- Keep babies less than one year of age out of direct sunlight. Cover and protect all exposed skin through the use of hats, loose-fitting clothing, under an umbrella, covered stroller, or in the shade.
- Sunscreen may be applied to babies over 6 months of age.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: June 1, 2015