Before heading outdoors this summer, check the UV Index to find out the intensity of sun rays in your area. The service is available for most ZIP codes around the country and can help you to best plan activities while ensuring that your family stay protected from overexposure.
How to Use the UV Index
You are in the highest danger from sun damage when UV rays are at their strongest. This all depends on a number of factors, including ozone depletion, weather, season, and location. Using data from the National Weather Service forecast data, the UV Index considers these factors to calculate expected solar radiation for a ZIP code at the solar noon hour. Ratings range from 0 to 11 or more:
- A rating of 0 to 2 means low risk of damage for average person, but your family should still wear sunglasses and use sunscreen.
- A rating of 3 to 5 means moderate risk of harm. Try to stay inside around midday.
- A rating of 6 to 7 signals high risk. Reduce the time you in sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- A rating of 8 to 10 means very high risk. Take extra precautions, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m..
- A rating of 11 or more means extreme risk. Damage to skin and eyes can occur within minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
If the area where you live is forecast at higher risk that normal, a special UV alert may be issued. You can sign up to receive these notifications by email.
UV Safety and Eyes
UV radiation puts your eyes in danger for short- and long-term damage, including photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye), pterygium, cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cancer of the skin around the eyes.
Keep your kids’ eyes safe with sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. For your chance to win pairs for your family, enter our summer giveaway on Facebook, and remember to check out the Real Kids collection to discover what you could win.