UV index, heat and wind chill products

UV Index

UV Index Poster

Image of UV Index poster

This wall-sized poster (44cm x 67cm) describes Canada's UV Index.  It includes sun safety tips and a chart with sun safety advice for different UV Index values.

To order a printed copy, contact enviroinfo. Bilingual (flip).

See below for UV poster text (HTML) or download the UV Index Poster - PDF (1,398 KB).

UV Index Wallet Card

Image of UV Index Wallet Card - Front Image of UV Index Wallet Card - Back

This wallet-sized quick reference guide to the UV Index includes sun safety tips and a chart with information on health hazards and safety advice for different UV Index values.

To order a printed copy, contact enviroinfo.  Available in English or French.

See below for wallet-card text (HTML) or download the UV Index Wallet Card - PDF (124 KB).

UV Index Poster and Wallet Card long description. Click for details.

The UV Index

Environment Canada developed the UV Index to inform Canadians about the strength of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can cause sunburns, eye cataracts, skin aging and skin cancer. The higher the UV Index number, the stronger the sun's rays, and the greater the need to take precautions.

The table below outlines the sun protection actions recommended at different levels of the UV Index.

Environment Canada's UV Index
UV Index Description Sun Protection Actions
0-2 Low
  • Minimal sun protection required for normal activity
  • Wear sunglasses on bright days. If outside for more than one hour, cover up and use sunscreen
  • Reflection off snow can nearly double UV strength. Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen.
3-5 Moderate
  • Take precautions - cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen - especially if you will be outside for 30 minutes or more.
  • Look for shade near midday when the sun is strongest.
6-7 High
  • Protection required - UV damages the skin and can cause sunburn.
  • Reduce time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and take full precautions - seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
8-10 Very High
  • Extra precautions required - unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.
  • Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and take full precautions - seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
11+ Extreme
  • Values of 11 or more are very rare in Canada. However, the UV Index can reach 14 or more in the tropics and southern U.S.
  • Take full precautions. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in minutes. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • White sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV and increase UV exposure.
Sun Protection Tips
  • The amount of UV you receive depends on both the strenth of the sun's rays (measured by the UV Index) and the amount of time you spend in the sun. Reduce your time in the sun - seek shade, particularly between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from April to September.
  • Cover-up, wear a broad-brimmed hat, a shirt with long sleeves and wrap-around sun-glasses or one with side shields.
  • Use sunscreen - with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, with both UVA and UVB protection. Apply generously before going outside, and reapply often, especially after swimming or exercise.
  • Listen for Environment Canada's UV Index - it's included in your local weather forecast whenever it is forecast to reach 3 (moderate) or more that day.

UV Information: www.ec.gc.ca/UVIndex

Weather forecasts: weather.gc.ca

UV Index Infographic - What UV Rays Can Cause

Image of summer UV Index Infographic Image of Winter UV Index Infographic

These colourful wall-sized infographics are a quick reference to the possible health effects of UV rays exposure.  Included is a brief description of the UV Index, exposure risks chart and website information. Available in English or French.

See below for infographic text (HTML) or download the PDF: Summer (1,266 KB) or Winter (1,305 KB).

UV Infographic long description. Click for details.

What UV rays can cause

Weakening of the immune system
Eye cataracts
Sunburn
Skin aging
Skin cancer

Exposure Risks of the UV Index
Colour Exposure Category UV Index
Green Low 0 - 2
Yellow Moderate 3 - 5
Orange High 6-7
Red Very High 8-10
Fuschia Extreme 11+

The UV index measures the strength of the sun's rays. The higher the Index number, greater is the need to take sun safety precautions. To learn more visit ec.gc.ca/UV.

canada.ca/weather

Heat Brochures

Keep children cool! Protect your child from extreme heat

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A six-page brochure from Health Canada with actions you can take to keep your child safe during extreme summer heat.

HTML, or dowload the PDF (351 KB).

To order the English or French print version, contact Health Canada - Publications.

You're active in the heat. You're at risk! Protect yourself from extreme heat

Image of You're Active in the Heat brochure

A six-page brochure from Health Canada with actions you can take to keep you safe during extreme summer heat.

HTML, or download the PDF (342 KB).

To order the English or French print version, contact Health Canada - Publications.

It's way too hot! Protect yourself from extreme heat

Image of It's Way too Hot brochure

A six-page brochure from Health Canada with actions you can take to keep older adults safe during extreme summer heat.

HTML, or dowload the PDF (295 KB).

To order the English or French print version, contact Health Canada - Publications.

Wind Chill

Wind Chill Fact Sheet

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This six-page factsheet describes Canada's Wind Chill Index. It includes information on cold weather safety, injuries caused by exposure to the cold and a chart with information on health hazards and safety advice for different wind chill values.

To order the print version, contact enviroinfo.  Available in English or French. View the Wind Chill Index (HTML) page or download the Wind Chill Factsheet - PDF (882 KB).

Wind Chill Poster

Image of Wind Chill poster

This wall-sized poster (44 cm x 67 cm) describes Canada's Wind Chill Index.  It includes cold weather safety tips and a wind chill chart. Bilingual (flip). To order the print version, contact enviroinfo.  Available in English or French.

See below for Canada's Wind Chill Index poster text (HTML) or download the Wind Chill Index poster - PDF (912 KB).

Wind Chill Wallet Card

Image of Wind Chill Wallet Card - Front Image of Wind Chill Chart wallet card - Back

This is a wallet-sized quick reference guide to Canada's Wind Chill Index. It includes cold weather safety tips and a Wind Chill chart.

To order the print version, contact enviroinfo.  Available in English or French.

See below for Wind Wallet Card text (HTML) or download the Wind Chill Wallet Card - PDF (1,741 KB).

Wind Chill Poster and Wallet Card long description. Click for details.

Canada's Wind Chill Index

Helping you Deal with the Cold You Feel

The cooling sensation caused by the combined effect of temperature and wind is called wind chill. The wind chill index is not actually a real temperature but, rather, represent the feeling of cold on your skin and is expressed in temperature-like units. Exposed skin at very cold wind chills can freeze in only minutes. The best way to avoid the hazards of wind chill is to check the weather forecast before going outside and to be prepared by dressing warmly. The risk of frostbite increases rapidly when wind chill values go below -27.

Seven Steps to Cold Weather Safety
  1. Check the weather forecast before planning outdoor activities.
  2. Dress in layers with a wind resistant ourer layer, wear a hat, mittens, scarf or face mask, and insulated, waterproof footwear. When it is very cold, or when the wind chill is significant, cover as much exposed skin as possible. Your body's extremities, such as the ears, nose, fingers and toes, lose heat the fastest.
  3. Limit your time outdoors when it is very cold or when the wind chill is significant.
  4. Seek shelter - get out of the wind
  5. Stay dry - wet clothing chills the body rapidly.
  6. Keep active to stay warmer - walking or running will help warm you by generating body heat.
  7. Watch for signs of frostbite - numbess and white patches on skin. Some people are more susceptible to the cold - particularly children, the elderly and those with circulation problems.
Wind Chill Chart
  Temperature (°C)
Wind Speed (km/h) 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 -35 -40 -45 -50
5 -2 -7 -13 -19 -24 -30 -36 -41 -47 -53 -58
10 -3 -9 -15 -21 -27 -33 -39 -45 -51 -57 -63
15 -4 -11 -17 -21 -23 -29 -35 -41 -48 -60 -66
20 -5 -12 -18 -24 -30 -37 -43 -49 -56 -62 -68
25 -6 -12 -19 -25 -32 -38 -44 -51 -57 -64 -70
30 -6 -13 -20 -26 -33 -39 -45 -52 -59 -65 -72
35 -7 -14 -20 -27 -33 -40 -47 -53 -60 -66 -73
40 -7 -14 -21 -27 -34 -41 -48 -54 -61 -68 -74
45 -8 -15 -21 -28 -35 -42 -48 -55 -62 -69 -75
50 -8 -15 -22 -29 -35 -42 -49 -56 -63 -69 -76
55 -8 -15 -22 -29 -36 -43 -50 -57 -63 -70 -77
60 -9 -16 -23 -30 -36 -43 -50 -57 -64 -71 -78
65 -9 -16 -23 -30 -37 -44 -51 -58 -65 -72 -80
70 -9 -16 -23 -30 -37 -44 -51 -58 -65 -72 -80
75 -10 -17 -24 -31 -38 -45 -52 -59 -66 -73 -80
80 -10 -17 -24 -31 -38 -45 -52 -60 -47 -71 -81
  • 0 to -9, Low risk of frostbite
  • -10 to -27, Moderate Risk
  • -28 to -39, High risk in 30 minutes of exposure
  • -40 to -47, Very high risk in 5 to 10 minutes of exposure
  • -48 to -54, Severe risk in 2 to 5 minutes of exposure
  • -55 and colder, Extreme risk in 2 minutes or less exposure

Windchill information Website: www.windchill.ec.gc.ca

Weather forecasts: weather.gc.ca

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