Sun Safety and Tanning
Did you know 80% of your lifetime ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure happens before your 18th birthday? It is important to make sun safety a priority for your family all year round.
The HKPR District Health Unit recommends the following tips to ensure you can enjoy time in the sun safely:
- Check the UV index daily. If you will be outdoors midday, or any time that the UV Index is 3+, your skin will need extra protection.
- Stay in the shade when possible to reduce exposures and to stay cooler.
- Dress in loose-fitting, protective clothing made from tightly woven fabric and wear a wide-brim hat that shades the face, ears and back of the neck.
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or higher, and follow directions for use.Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours. Apply lip balm with at least SPF 30.
- Wear UV protective sunglasses, especially with when there is snow, sand, and water which are very reflective.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Increase Vitamin D instead of UV exposure. Speak with your primary care provider for advice.
- Some medications can cause your skin to become oversensitive to the sun. Ask your pharmacist or health care provider about potential side effects.
Indoors or outdoors, there’s no safe way to get a tan.
Whether your tan is from the sun or tanning equipment, there is no difference in the UVR (ultraviolet radiation) exposure you’ve received.
The Ontario Skin Cancer Prevention Act bans the use of tanning beds by youth under age 18. The law also protects youth from the proven dangers linked with exposure to UVR. All tanning bed operators must follow this law and are regularly inspected if they offer ultraviolet tanning treatments.
Sunless tanning products are a safe alternative to a tan. Self-tanners that you apply to your skin are available in many forms such as, lotions, creams, gels, mousses, cosmetic wipes, and sprays.
Sunless tanning products do not protect your skin from sun damage. Remember to wear sunscreen (SPF 30+).