As the summer gets into full swing sun safety should be top of mind. SunSmart Sask. details the best methods to keep yourself and your family safe this summer.  

SunSmart Sask. recommends following the 5 S's for Sun Safety’—slip on protective clothing, slap on a hat, slop on sunscreen, slide on sunglasses, and seek shade. 

A broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect against both types of UVR, UVA, UVB, and is at least SPF 30. Water resistant sunscreen is also recommended to reduce the amount removed via sweat or swimming. Sunscreen labelled “water resistant” in Canada must provide protection for at least 40 minutes in water.  

Adults require about two to three tablespoons of lotion-formulated sunscreen to cover the whole body, and a teaspoon to cover the face and neck. Hands, feet, ears often forgotten when Applying sunscreen. 

“Sunscreen should be reapplied regularly, especially after swimming, strenuous exercise, or toweling off. Also, consider wearing a lip balm with SPF 30 and above," said SunSmart Sask.  “We are avid supporters of correct and consistent sunscreen usage however we are cognizant of the fact that many persons do not use sunscreen the recommended way.” 

Clothing provides better protection than sunscreen, light weight shirts with long sleeves, and long pants/skirts are recommended. While darker colours offer better protection than lighter colours. It is also best to wear dry clothing as they offer better protection than wet clothing. 

“In general, clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor provides better protection than sunscreen however screening increases your level of protection for the areas not covered by clothing.” 

Hats are another method of keeping the sun safe and offer a variety of safety features. A hat should be used to shade your face, ears and neck. Broad-brimmed hats are the best option for sun protection. Hats can also provide additional protection for the eyes, when paired with sunglasses. The tighter the fabric of the hat the better the protection as it will block more of the UVR.  

Sunglasses are recommended year-round to protect your eyes from direct or reflect UVR. Close-fitting wraparound sunglasses offer the best UV protection. Lenses with full UVA and UVB protection are the most effective. Ex: UV400 or 100 per cent UV protection. 

Shade can reduce UVR exposure by 50 to 90 per cent. Shade can be natural or constructed, it could include sitting under a tree or bringing an umbrella with you to the beach.  

“Good quality shade includes dense vegetation and covered structures that offer shade from the side, not just overhead, to protect against scattered UVR. As a general guide, wider and denser sources of shade provide increased protection.” 

In general, the best sun safety strategies apply to both adults and children. It is recommended that children under the age of six months be kept out of the sun are much as possible and should not have sunscreen applied to their sensitive skin.