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Going South?

When it gets cold, many of us want to head south to soak up the warmth of the sun.

However, sunny vacation destinations also mean increased risk for a different kind of extreme climate – tropical sun exposure. The sun in the tropics is more intense the closer you get to the equator, and that means stronger, damaging rays. The ultraviolet (UV) index is also higher, which means it takes less time in the sun before you sustain a sunburn and/or suntan. Too much sun can be harmful to our health!

Follow these sun safety tips if you plan on heading south:

  • Avoid spending long periods of time in the sun, especially from 11am to 4 pm. 

  • Use a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Reapply after swimming, water sports or heavy perspiration.

  • Cover up with clothing – synthetic blends are better than cotton.

  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses.

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat.

  • Seek shade whenever possible.

  • Be aware that some medications, cosmetics and lotions increase skin sensitivity to UV rays.



 The UV Index:


 Typical Summer Midday Values



 UV Index

 Sunburn Times


 10-12 (extreme)

 Less than 15 minutes


 8.0 (high) 

 About 20 minutes 


 6.0 (moderate) 

About 30 minutes