To avoid skin cancer, AFCR encourages everyone to wear sunglasses, sunscreen, and wide-brimmed hats whenever spending prolonged time outdoors.
Make sure your sunglasses block 99 to 100 percent of both types of ultraviolet (UV) rays – UV-A and UV-B. Look for a label that lists the amount of protection. Owning UV-protecting sunglasses is not enough; you must remember to wear them whenever you’re outside. And don't be fooled by a cloudy day. The sun's rays can still burn through the haze and thin clouds.
When selecting a sunscreen, buy and apply a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher. You should re-apply every 2 hours when working or playing outdoors. Even waterproof sunscreen can come off when you sweat, towel off, or spend extended periods of time in the water.
And remember to be especially cautious with children. Severe sunburns in childhood can greatly increase the risk of melanoma later in life. Children should also wear sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats. In addition, try to keep them out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., when the sun's ultraviolet rays are the strongest.
Most importantly, learn how to read the UV Index – the international standard measurement of how strong the ultraviolet radiation from the sun is at a particular place on a particular day.
How to read the UV Index
2 or less: Low
Means low danger from the sun's UV rays for the average person.
3 – 5: Moderate
Means moderate risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. When the UV Index is over 3, make sure to apply a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.
6 – 7: High
Means there is a high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Be especially careful and apply a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.
8 – 10: Very High
Means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Minimize sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Protect yourself by liberally applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and wear protective clothing and sunglasses.
Means there is an extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Try to avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 liberally every 2 hours.