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Sun Safety Guidelines


  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
  • Sun exposure is the main cause of skin cancer.
  • Learn to protect yourself from the sun. Get the facts.

Why does the sun cause skin cancer?

  • Ultraviolet rays from the sun damage skin cells.
  • There are two types of Ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. Both cause skin damage.

beach sceneUV rays are not just harmful when you are in direct sunlight.
They also reflect off sand and snow and travel through water and clouds.

Who is at risk?

  • Everyone is at risk for skin cancer.
  • People with lighter skin, hair and eyes are at higher risk.
  • Talk to your doctor about your own personal risk.

How do I protect my skin from the sun’s rays?

  • Limit sun exposure from 10am - 4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest and do the most damage.
  • Cover up in the sun using shade, clothing, sunglasses and sun screen.

What is SPF?

  • Sun Protection Factor for UVB protection

Higher the number = More protection

SPF 4 blocks out 75% UVB rays
SPF 15 blocks out 93% UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks out 97% UVB rays*** Recommended by most Dermatologists
FDA working to measure UVA protection in sunscreens

sun block

Are tanning beds safe?

Tanning beds release dangerously high levels of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This causes premature aging of skin (wrinkles) and increases skin cancer risk.

Do my bones need sunlight?

  • Our skin uses sunlight to make Vitamin D which keeps our bones healthy.
  • Talk to your doctor about how best to get your source of Vitamin D.
  • For most, 5-10 minutes of unprotected sun 2-3 times a week is enough to help your skin make Vitamin D.

Shadow Rule

When our shadow is shorter than we are the sun’s UV rays are at an angle that makes them most likely to cause sunburn and skin damage.

Cover up when your shadow is shorter than you are!

Choose Your Cover

Seek Shade

Trees, beach umbrellas or tents help protect from the sun’s rays.

Use Your Head

Head and neck are common sites for skin cancer. A hat with a 4-inch brim provides the most protection.

Grab Your Shades

Sunglasses protect skin around your eyes and reduce the risk of developing cataracts and other eye diseases. Look for sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection close
to 100%. Choose sunglasses that meet (ANSI) American National Standards
Institute requirements.

Shield Your Skin

A shirt, beach cover-up or pants help protect from the sun. Clothes with tighter weaves have more protection.

Rub It On

  • Use sunscreen whenever you are in the sun.
  • A 1-ounce (palmful) application of sunscreen is recommended for the whole body.
  • Apply 20-30 minutes before you go outside so your skin can absorb the protective agents.
  • Reapply every two hours, or after swimming and exercise.
  • Be careful when you dry off! Your towel will remove the sunscreen- REAPPLY!
  • Use sunscreen lip balm.


  • Check for expiration dates. Most expire after 2-3 years.
  • Choose broad-spectrum sunscreens which protect against both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Water protection:
    • Waterproof - protects for 80 minutes
    • Water Resistant - protects for 40 minutes

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