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6 Ways to Protect Yourself From Excessive Sun

Outside safety

Summer is the best time for some fun in the sun. But, it is essential to be safe whenever exposed to Ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive exposure to UV radiation can be hazardous. The risks include blinding, cancer, leather skin, liver spots, and actinic keratosis. Exposure to UV rays can even weaken the immune system in excess. This causes vaccines to be less effective and more likely to become ill. Exposure while working outside can cause heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.Though sunshine is essential for our health, it can quickly tarnish our quality of life in mass amounts.

Moderation and safe practices are vital to enjoying summer without getting burnt. The UV index scale is an established system by the World Health Organization. The goal is to help people determine the strength of the sun's UV rays every hour of the day. This can help people prepare to spend time in the sun while remaining safe. This is to help decrease the amount of harmful exposure to UV radiation. The scale goes beyond eleven, but the range title above eleven is the same.

Below is a table that indicates the severity of UV exposure based on the index

Range Severity Protection
0-2 Low Safe outside with minimal protection.
3-5 Moderate Protection needed. Seek shade from late morning to mid-afternoon. Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses.
6-7 High Protection needed. Seek shade from late morning to mid-afternoon. Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses.
8-10 Very High Extra protection needed. Be careful outside. Seek shade, sunscreen, and protective clothing.
11+ Extreme Advise use of broad-spectrum sunscreen. Reapply when needed. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing, and seek shade.
UV from sun

There are ways to mitigate the sun's harmful effects on the skin. Practicing sun safety is the best way to decrease the risk of severe health problems.

1. Wear Appropriate SPF Sunscreen and Reapply

Wearing sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun and lower the risk of becoming sunburnt. The dangers associated with exposure to harsh UV rays can diminish with sunscreen. Sunscreen has an SPF rating which determines how much extra protection it provides. The higher the number on the SPF label, the longer the protection.

If your skin burns in 20 minutes, but you apply SPF 30, you must reapply sunscreen every 50 minutes.

2. Clothing

Wearing clothing with coverage prevents radiation exposure directly to the skin. This includes wearing jeans, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats. A hat to provide shade on the face, eyes, ears, shoulders, and chest is a great way to mitigate exposure to the sun.

Heat exhaustion

3. Shade Cloth

Installing shade cloth is a wonderful way to provide safety for outdoor events. Whether at a pool or in the backyard, shade cloth can help block the intensity of UV rays. Shade cloth generally blocks 60-70% of UV rays. This allows for a great alternative to direct sunlight while enjoying the day.

4. Take Breaks

Taking breaks to hydrate, reapply sunscreen, and have time out from the sun is essential. A great way to establish break time is every hour, for 5-10 minutes.

5. Check the Weather

While planning your activities for a day in the sun, look beyond the temperature. Checking the UV index is a great way to ensure you take appropriate precautions. Remember, the higher the scale, the more safety measures you should implement.

6. Protect Your Eyes

Wearing UV-resistant sun protection helps gain extra coverage. UV rays can cause significant issues with the cornea, as they can become inflamed or burned. Look for labels that suggest the sunglasses block UV rays.


Too much or little sunshine can have dangerous consequences. Be sure to engage in the safety practices that are right for you. It is possible to have a lifetime of sun without risking your health. Moderation and safety practices combined are a great way to be safe this summer.

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