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News Release

Take simple steps to protect yourself from over-exposure to UVR this National Sun Awareness Week, June 2 to 8

WHITBY, ON May 26, 2014 - Durham Region Health Department will mark National Sun Awareness Week, June 2 to 8, by reminding residents of the harmful effects of over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and by focusing on simple actions people can take to be sun safe.

“The health consequences of over-exposure to UVR are serious and can include sunburn, premature aging, eye damage and skin cancer,” said Felicia Onwuemele, a public health nurse with the Health Department. According to Cancer Care Ontario, exposure to UVR from the sun and tanning equipment is the main cause of skin cancer. In Canada, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, accounting for nearly one-third of all newly-diagnosed cancers.

The Health Department recommends practising these sun safety tips to lower your risks when enjoying outdoor activities this summer and all year round:

  • Find shade, or bring your own umbrella or canopy.
  • Check the UV index reading before participating in outdoor activities.
  • Reduce your time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Cover up and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible
  • Use lip balm and a broad-spectrum waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before outdoor activities; reapply at least every two hours after sweating or water activities (do not apply sunscreen on infants less than six-months old).
  • Keep infants less than one-year old out of direct sunlight.

“Whether you are enjoying the outdoors with your family this summer or planning a vacation, remember to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure,” she added.

For more information on sun safety, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.


Media inquiries:
Glendene Collins - Health Department 905-668-7711, ext. 2999