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Keep sun health in mind with upcoming warmer temperatures: AHS

With temperatures in the Lakeland area forecasted to be between 25 to 28 degrees Celcius in the coming days, Alberta Health Officials are sharing some tips on how to stay sun and heat-safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Medical Officer of Health Doctor Jack Pang says one of the first things those heading outside can do is check the UV index using the Environment Canada website, or any weather app on their phone. He explains anything above a three on the UV index is potentially harmful.

“If you see the sun is super bright and super strong out you can choose to avoid that exposure by staying indoors or going outdoors when the sun exposure isn’t at its peak,” Pang says. “In Alberta, usually the peak time in the summer is between 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., this is the time when the sun is absolutely the strongest.”

The health official adds if there is no way to stay out of or avoid the sun during this time, then the next option is to take proper steps to protect yourself. Some of these forms of protection can include wearing a sun hat, wearing sunglasses, or even wearing long sleeve clothing.

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“Of course you can use sunscreen, choosing SPF 30 or above, to really protect your skin from that sunlight exposure. I would recommend applying that sunscreen about 30 minutes before you are going to be in that sun exposure and re-applying often through the activity you are doing.”

“You want to make sure it offers both UVA and UVB protection on the product, there isn’t a preference over sprays or lotion-type cream sunscreens as long as they are applied appropriately according to the product directions.”

Other ways of protecting your health while in sunny and hot environments according to Pang is ensuring you drink lots of water, and take time to rest in shaded areas when needed.

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