UV index and sun safety
The UV Index was developed to help Canadians protect themselves from the sun’s damaging UV (ultraviolet) rays. The higher the UV Index, the stronger the sun's rays, and the greater the need to take sun safety precautions. In Canada the UV Index ranges from 0 to 11+.
UV can cause sunburn, eye cataracts, skin aging and skin cancer. The amount of UV that you receive depends on the strength of the sun, as measured by the UV Index, and the amount of time you spend in the sun. Protect yourself by checking the UV index and by wearing a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and spending less time in the sun.
How to find your daily UV Index
|Colour||Exposure Category||UV Index|
|Green||Low||0 - 2|
|Yellow||Moderate||3 - 5|
Sun safety tips
Enjoy the sun safely: Protect your skin, protect your eyes.
Protect your skin
When the UV Index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible. In general, the UV Index in Canada can be 3 or higher from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. between April and September, even when it’s cloudy.
- Seek shade or bring your own (e.g., an umbrella).
- Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible and a wide-brimmed hat, as appropriate to the activity and weather.
- Use sunscreen labelled "broad spectrum" and "water resistant" with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on skin not covered by clothing. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply often.
- Avoid getting a sunburn and avoid intentional tanning.
- Health Canada does not recommend the use of tanning equipment (especially for people under the age of 18).
Protect your eyes
- Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses with UV protective lenses.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat for added eye protection.
Sun safety for children and travelers
- Babies and small children have sensitive skin and burn easily. Be sure to protect them from the sun.
- Be careful on winter holidays in the sun. You can burn very quickly.
- More on sun protection
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