Sun Safety

It may have taken longer than expected, but spring has finally arrived in Waterloo region. We know that many parents and students are excited to get outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous weather. But before we head outside, our friends at the Region of Waterloo want to remind us of some important sun safety tips to keep in mind.

Sun protection is very important because it can limit the risk of sun damage and skin cancer. You can reduce the risk to yourself and your family by taking the following steps:

Take precautions

During peak periods and on high UV days take precautions such as:

  • wearing a wide-brimmed hat
  • wearing protective and loose clothing
  • wearing sunglasses
  • applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher with both UVA/B protection (Do not put sunscreen on babies under six months old)

Limit time in the sun

Even if you are wearing sunscreen it is important to avoid spending a long time in the sun during peak UV periods (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., April to September). Children should never stay in the sun for long periods, even when wearing sunscreen. 

Plan your outdoor events early or late in the day to avoid the midday sun.

Find shade

Look for a shady spot when you are outside. Also, keep babies under one year of age out of direct sunlight.

We have identified creating shaded spaces in our school yards and play areas as a key component of our Sun Safety and Shading Policy. Either natural shade created by trees or constructed shade provides relief from the sun. When possible, constructing shaded areas are taken into consideration when we build new schools or additions. We review our other school sites often to make sure enough shade is available to our students.

Be aware of the UV Index

There is considerable change in the UV index from day to day. When the rating goes above moderate, it is often included in weather forecasts. 

UV Index Sun Protection Actions
0-2
Low
Minimal sun protection required. If outside more than one hour, wear sunglasses and
sunscreen. reflections can nearly double UV strength.
3-5
Moderate
Take precautions. Cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if outside for 30
minutes or more. Look for shade near midday.
6-7
High
Protection required. UV damages skin and can cause sunburn. reduce time in the
sun between 11 am and 4 pm. Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
8-10
Very High
Extra protection required. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly. Avoid
the sun between 11 am and 4 pm. Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
11+
Extreme
Maximum protection required. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in minutes.
Avoid the sun between 11 am and 4 pm, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

 

Waterloo Public Health encourages adults to serve as role models for children. It is important that sun safety becomes part of the normal daily life.

Visit the Region of Waterloo’s website for more tips on staying safe in the sun.

 

Categories: News