In the past, I've written about the need to wear sun glasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes and skin from harmful sun rays. The recommendations I'd read said to wear them April or May through September.
However, recently I heard a story on the radio that said you need to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat all year long. It seems protection from ultraviolet radiation is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces such as water, cement, sand, and snow.
The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Daylight Saving Time – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time – are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends these options for protection from UV radiation:
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
For details about these options, see Sun Safety.