CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It was another sunny day across western Massachusetts and this begins the prolonged period when the UV index can be high leading to the increased risk for sunburns.
Over the past few days, we have seen lots of sun and warm temperatures. This time of year, the risk of sunburns increases as the UV index increases as well.
The UV index is measured by the amount of ultraviolet radiation that is emitted by the sun. We measure the UV index on a scale from 1-11 and sometimes can go higher. The higher the UV Index is, the more radiation is emitted and the risk of getting sunburned increases. Typically, a UV index of a 7 or higher is when you are most at risk from the sun.
With the increased UV index the possibility of getting skin cancer can increase. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. according to the CDC. More than 4-million people are treated for skin cancer every year. And, cases are on the rise.
Sun protection should be top a top priority if you plan to be outside this weekend, and any overly sunny day moving forward throughout the summer. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Some tips for protecting your skin are to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF greater than 15, and reapply to all uncovered skin every two hours. Remember, no sunscreen is waterproof, and always read the label to know how much time you can expect to be protected with water resistant sunscreen. Also drink plenty of water, and wear a hat or find shade if you can. And, if you start to feel sick or sluggish, take a break in a cool spot as soon as possible.