Understanding the UV Index

The UV Index is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet (UV) radiation at a particular place and time. The scale was developed by Canadian scientists in 1992, then adopted and standardized by the UN's World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization in 1994.

0-2

Low

3-5

Moderate

6-7

High

8-10

Very High

11+
Extreme 

0 to 2 means low danger from the sun's UV rays for the average person.
Wear sunglasses on bright days. If you burn easily, cover up and use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen.

3 to 5 means moderate risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.
Stay in shade near midday when the sun is strongest. Wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Generously apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Protection against skin and eye damage is needed.
Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If outdoors, seek shade and wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Generously apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours, even on cloudy days.

8 to 10 means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Take extra precautions because unprotected skin and eyes will be damaged and can burn quickly.
Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If outdoors, seek shade and wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Generously apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours.

A UV Index reading of 11 or more means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Take all precautions because unprotected skin and eyes can burn in minutes. Stay inside where possible out of the weather.
Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If outdoors, seek shade and wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Generously apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours.

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