In a previous post, we focused on the meaning behind sunscreen SPF numbers. This week, we’ll take a look at some other things you can do to be safe in the sun.
We’ll start with an obvious method to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, stay in the shade! It’s best to avoid direct sunlight during the strongest part of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Here’s a great way to determine if the UV rays are the strongest, if you’re shadow is shorter than you, look out, the UV rays are at their strongest.
If you ever wonder about the strength of UV rays in your area, you can check the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and look up the UV index in your region at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.
Proper clothing can help protect you in the sun as well. Contrary to many people’s belief, dark colors typically provide more protection than light colors. The tighter the weave of the fabric generally means the better sun protection. Just remember, if you can see light through the fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
If you are going to be outdoors a lot, particularly in and around the water, look for sun-protective clothes with a label listing the UV protection factor (UPF) of 50+ just don’t forget to put the sunscreen on your exposed body parts.
Look for our next post as we break down sunglasses and other tips for managing the summer sun.