Be sun safe

After a long, dark winter, being outside in the sun can be great! The sun helps our bodies make vitamin D, which is good for our health and to prevent cancer. However, if we are not careful, the sun can also be harmful.  

Here are some tips to help you stay safe under the sun. 

  • Protect yourself by applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). 

  • Wear clothing that covers your skin (for example, long sleeves and long pants). 

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. 

  • Carry an umbrella for shade.  

  • Avoid peak sun exposure between 11 am and 4 pm if you can.  

  • If your shadow is shorter than you, it is time to use maximum sun protection. 

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds increases the risk of developing skin cancer and using a tanning bed age prior to turning 30 years old significantly increases your lifetime risk of skin cancer.  

The most harmful effects from UV rays and sun exposure happen early in childhood.  Babies under 1 year of age should be kept out of direct sun whenever possible. Protect yourself and your family from the sun. 

Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist, and fog, and up to 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can bounce off sand, snow, water, and concrete and right back at you! It is never too late for sun protection. Use sunscreen!  

For more information about sun awareness, see www.dermatology.ca

For further information about leading a healthy lifestyle in the NWT, please visit www.choosenwt.com.