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News Release

Health Department acknowledges National Sun Awareness Week

WHITBY, ON June 02, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department is acknowledging National Sun Awareness Week, June 5 to 11, by reminding residents of the simple actions that can keep you and your family sun safe.

“Over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause harmful effects such as skin cancer, eye lesions, retinal burns, cataracts, skin damage, premature skin aging and wrinkles,” 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. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and rates are increasing. The Health Department recommends practicing these sun safety tips to lower your risks when enjoying outdoor activities this summer and all year round:

  • Check the ultraviolet (UV) index reading before engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Find shade, or bring your own umbrella or canopy.
  • Limit your time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – this is when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Cover up – wear a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap with flaps that cover the neck and ears and clothing that covers as much skin as possible, such as a long sleeve shirt and pants, or UV-protective clothing.
  • Wear close fitting/wrap-around style sunglasses with UV 400 or 100 per cent UV protection.
  • Use a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen and lip balm, both with an SPF of 30 or more; re-apply when needed, especially after swimming, sweating or toweling.
  • Sunscreen may be used on babies over six-months old. Avoid the mouth and eye areas.
  • Keep infants less than one-year old out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not use UV tanning equipment or deliberately try to get a sun-tan and avoid getting a sun burn.

“Skin damage is preventable,” Ms. Onwuemele continued. “Whether you are planning a vacation or a staycation with your family this summer, remember to protect yourself and stay sun safe.” For more information on sun safety, contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905 666 6241 or 1800 841 2729 or visit

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Media inquiries:
The Regional Municipality of Durham
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please call 1-877-777-2729.

For more information, please contact Health Department.