It’s best to avoid the sun during the heat of the day. Levels of UV differ depending on the time of the year, but in summer it is generally 9am to 4pm. Avoiding outdoor activities like going to the park or the beach is harder than it sounds, especially in an Australian summer.
The Cancer Council tell us there are five ways to protect avoid sun exposure: Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek Shade and Slide on the sunglasses.
When you are outdoors, remember to wear long shirts and long sleeve rashies and long pants. Tightly woven or dark fabric offers the best protection. Some companies specialise in high-UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing, hats, and umbrellas. The Cancer Council sells a range of high-UPF clothing.
Even on cloudy days, we still are exposed to about 80% of the ultraviolet light present on a sunny day. Recreational activities near water require additional caution as water reflects up to 80% of the sun’s rays.
Window glass blocks UVB light however, UVA can still penetrate. Since UVA can worsen lupus and JDM, light penetrating through windows can flare disease. Protective window films applied to car windows or windowpanes can offer additional protection.
Sunscreen needs to be applied according to instructions and should not be used as the only line of defence against UV. When the UV Index is above 3, protect your child using sun protective clothing, SPF30+ sunscreen or higher, wearing a broad brim hat and sunglasses.
These resources might help:
- Sunscreen FAQs
- 10 myths about sun protection
- Sun Protection Products – Cancer Council Australia
- About Vitamin D
Watch this video on how to apply sunscreen effectively.