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UV Index explained and how to stay sun-safe this summer

Precipitation chances are expected to remain low over the next week with plenty of sunshine to go around. As we get further into the spring and summer season, this means practicing heat safety becomes more important every day!

UV or Ultra violet light is the main form of harmful radiation that we receive from the sun. UV light is made of light waves that are moving very fast and have more energy than visible-- they move so fast that we can't see them with the naked eye.

This extra power it carries is what makes it so harmful to our skin. Too much of it leads to sunburn, and overexposure over long periods of time can increase your chance of developing skin cancer.

The UV Index scale that we worry about for sun safety measure from 0 to 11. This week we're expected to have daily values around 10. These values typically maximize between 10 AM and 3 PM.

Below is a chart to give you a better idea on what UV Index values will warrant the most caution.

No, you're probably not going to stay completely sunburn free... but taking extra precautions can reduce how severe your sunburn becomes. Be aware that with a UV Index between 8 and 11 can burn you in 15-20 minutes, but the redness and irritation sometimes occurs 2-6 hours following actually getting burned! This means you may not even realize you're burned until it's too late!

Drinking plenty of water, applying plenty of sunscreen and taking frequent shade breaks are ways you can combat severe sunburn cases. If you do get burnt, aloe vera gel and cream can help with pain-- sometimes in severe cases over-the-counter medication can be warranted. Perhaps you just need to keep your skin cool... a cool shower or cool bath can be helpful for your skin.


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Luke Victor

Luke Victor gives forecasts on ABC 17 News broadcasts and reports on weather stories on air and online, giving viewers and readers a deeper look at what causes different types of weather.


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