Check the UV Index for Safer Fun in the Sun
The idea of vacations and days off have visions of beaches, pools, summer sports and other outdoor activities dancing in our heads, but these anticipated activities unfortunately can come with a price if we aren’t properly prepared. Summers in the south are not for the faint of heart. Not long after stepping outside, even the most excited outdoor enthusiasts can get overwhelmed by the south’s heat, humidity, and sun. Since the sun can cause serious damage below the skin’s surface, it’s important for us to be mindful about how much time we’re spending in the sun in addition to using sunscreen.
Skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, is most commonly caused from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We can change our risks for cancer with personal habits, choices, and knowing the risk UV exposure can bring.
The UV Index (UVI) measures the level of skin-damaging ultraviolet radiation we are exposed to. Because the levels of UV radiation and the index values can vary throughout the day, a given day’s UV level is determined by the maximum UV level that may occur. UV values can range from 0 (low) to 11 (high). Higher UVIs indicate a greater potential for the sun to damage the skin and eyes in a short amount of time.
The UV Index is an important tool that raises public awareness of the risks of excessive UV exposure, and emphasizes the need for protective measures like seeking shade, using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and taking advantage of protective clothing.
Checking the UV Index each day and following the recommended safety guidelines is a great way to enjoy the sun safely. Use the tool below like a weather forecast – let it help you plan your day and make choices to protect yourself from the sun’s potential dangers.
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
For more information on sun safety and skin cancer awareness, visit marybird.org/skin.
- Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but too much sun exposure can cause serious damage below the skin’s surface.
- Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and UV exposure is cited as the number one cause.
- The UV Index measures the amount of ultraviolet radiation one is exposed to and indicates how long one should stay in direct sunlight before skin damage could occur.