Sun Protection to Prevent Sunburn

Topic Overview

Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  This is when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.  If you are out in the sun during these hours, make sure to take care to protect yourself and your family.

Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are usually thick white or coloured cream. They prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They are useful for high-risk areas such as the nose, lips, and shoulders. If you cannot avoid the sun, use sunglasses with 99 to 100 UV-A and UV-B protection, a wide-brimmed hat that covers the back of the neck, and clothing to protect your child's skin. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Apply sunscreen generously to exposed skin and re-apply every 2 hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.

It's safest to keep babies younger than 12 months out of the sun. Do not use sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months old. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the amount of time spent in the sun.

Look for shade under things like trees, umbrellas or canopies.

Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV rays. Protect yourself from UV rays on cloudy days as well. Reflections off snow, water, sand and concrete can also increase the effect of UV rays causing sunburn. 


Adaptation Date: 9/22/2021

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

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