Skin cancer is on the rise. The good news is that skin cancer is preventable.

Be sun safe - Follow these simple steps:

  • When the UV Index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible. In general the UV Index in Canada can be 3 or higher from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. between April to September, even when it’s cloudy. 
  • Use sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum” and “water resistant” with an SPF of at least 30. Also use sunscreen lip balm.
  • Don’t use UV tanning equipment or deliberately try to get a suntan, and avoid getting a sunburn. 
  • Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses with UV-protective lenses (UV 400 or 100% UV protection) when outdoors all year round. Wear a hat with a wide brim to help protect your skin and eyes. 

Find out more here on Sun Safety fact sheets: 

Check the UV Index daily

The higher the UV Index number, the stronger the sun’s rays and the greater the need to take precautions.

No tan is a healthy tan 

When the daily UV index is 3 or higher, it can be found on The Weather Network’s website and on Environment Canada’s website. Most television and radio weather forecasts also report the UV Index. 

Seek out or create shade for outdoor activities

  • Trees can reduce UV radiation by up to 50%. No trees nearby? Seek shade under an umbrella or shade structures.
  • Remember the Shadow Rule…. No shadow, seek shade!

Cover up with clothing

  • Wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible and a hat with a wide brim; they should suit the activity and weather.
  • Clothing designed to cover as much skin as possible will offer the best protection.
  • Many manufacturers now offer materials that can protect you from the sun. These fabrics come with different degrees of protection and are rated with an ultraviolet protection factor  (UPF).
  • When choosing clothing, look for a UPF of 15 to 50 or higher. This fabric will allow only 2% to 6% of the UV radiation to pass through, blocking at least 94% of UV rays from reaching your skin.
  • Weave and colour can affect the UPF of fabric. Look for fabrics that have a tight weave and dark colour. Darker colours absorb more UV radiation and provide better sun protection. 

Think about it: If you raise your clothing up to light and light passes through, the sun’s rays will do the same and expose you to UV radiation.

Prevent heat-related illness

The combination of high heat and high humidity can cause heat-related illness.  Read more on how to beat the heat.


Ontario Sun Safety Working Group