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.Enjoy the sun safely: Protect your skin, protect your eyes.
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
- Limit time in the sun when the UV index is 3 or higher, usually between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Seek shade or make shade by using an umbrella, a UV protective tent, or pop-up shade shelter. Go indoors to cool off.
- Keep babies younger than 1 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.
- Children and adults should wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible or wear UV-protective clothing.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat or baseball cap with flaps that cover the head, neck and ears.
- Apply plenty of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or more, labelled ‘broad spectrum’ and ‘water resistant’. Most adults need 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover their body and 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to cover their face and neck.
- People with fair hair or fair skin or who burn easily should use a higher SPF.
- Reapply sunscreen when needed (especially after swimming, sweating, or towelling off).
- Use a sunscreen lip balm.
- Sunscreen may be used on babies over six months of age, avoiding the mouth and eye areas.
- Sunscreen should also be used during the winter months on exposed areas of skin.
- Wear close fitting/wrap-around sunglasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
- Children’s and babies’ sunglasses should be unbreakable.
- Avoid getting a tan or sunburn.
- Don’t expose yourself or children to UV rays to meet vitamin D needs. Use food or supplements instead.
- Drink water all day.
- Be aware of surroundings. Water, sand, asphalt, 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.
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: May 1, 2017