We can use the Ultraviolet (UV) Index as a helpful forecasting tool to decide how much time we should spend in the sun and what kind (or types) of protection to wear. The UV Index measures the strength of the sun’s UV rays and indicates how quickly we might feel the harmful effects of overexposure. The higher the UV Index, the stronger the sun’s UV rays will be. Utilizing the UV Index is intended to assist people in making knowledgeable choices regarding how to safeguard their skin and eyes when outdoors throughout the summer.
What Is the UV Index?
UV Index measures the level of ultraviolet radiation and its intensity as it reaches the Earth’s surface. The scale is from 0 to 11+, with 11+ being the most intense. The higher the number, the greater the risk of skin damage.
The lowest index level signifies that the ordinary person is not at high risk from the sun’s UV radiation. The majority of people may remain in the sun from 10 am to 2 pm without burning. However, babies and those with extremely sensitive skin should always be shielded from prolonged sun exposure.
The highest level translates to a high risk of injury from exposure to the sun without protection. If you have fair skin, you may burn in less than 10 minutes. Reduce your sun exposure as much as you can between 10 am to 2 pm throughout midday.
On sunny days, wear UV-blocking sunglasses, a floppy hat, and light-colored clothing. You want to wear light-weighted material as well.
You should always wear sunscreen, but use wide spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen if you burn easily. Also, beware of bright reflective surfaces like sand, water, and snow that enhance exposure to UV radiation. When planning outdoor activities, be sure to check the UV Index for your location.
Dangers of Too Much Sun
It’s great to spend time in the sun and gather all the Vitamin D you can, but there are also dangers to too much sun. Be mindful as these issues can occur:
- Eye damage
- Skin issues (both aging, leathery skin, and permanent skin damage)
- Heat Stroke
- Skin Cancer
How Much Sunshine Is Too Much?
Avoid becoming sunburned if you intend to spend a lot of time in the sun. To minimize the negative effects of prolonged sun exposure, apply sunscreen after 10 to 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. Depending on how your skin reacts to sunlight, you should adjust your exposure period. Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours you spend in the sun, especially if you’re perspiring or swimming.