Summer Sunburn Index

Sun Safety Tips To Ensure A Safe & Fun Okanagan Vacation

Know the sunburn index! Protect yourself from ultraviolet waves and enjoy your summer vacation in Okanagan. :-)

We all love to be outdoors in the sunshine, and protecting ourselves from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun is important, especially here under the hot Okanagan sun.

The Southern Interior British Columnbia climate is like a semi arid desert.

When temperatures in the Okanagan reach well into the 30's °C, for days or even weeks at a time, the best place to cool off is in the water - somewhere on one of the best beaches in the Okanagan - of course!

on the beach penticton

But if you're not used to the intense heat and sun you'll need to be more cautious and have adequate sun protection.

When you're on an Okanagan vacation, especially with kids, the last thing you want, to put a damper on your holiday, is a sunburn, or sun/heat related illness!

Why ruin a perfectly good vacation in one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada!

Ultraviolet Waves and Ultraviolet radiation .....The Sun sends out energy, in the form of rays of light in many different wavelengths, including ultraviolet radiation. It is these ultraviolet waves that cause sunburns.

UV IndexCategory
+11 Extreme
8 to 10 Very High
6 to 7 High
3 to 5 Moderate
0-2 Low

UV radiation is categorized into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. The amount of UV you receive depends on the amount of time you spend in the sun and the strength of the sun's rays - which is measured by the UV Index.

The UV Index is a measure of the intensity of the sun's ultraviolet radiation in the sunburning spectrum. As the UV Index increases, the sun's rays can do more harm to your skin, as well as your eyes, and even your immune system.

A UV Index above 2 means you should protect yourself with sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and water, especially if you plan to be outside in the sun for more than an hour, or if you plan to be in or near the lakes, where the suns reflection off the water is even more intense.

Sun Safety Tips

Here are some summer sun safety precautions to take for your family when heading out into the sun:

  • Sunscreen is best applied at least 30 minutes prior to going out into the sun, and should be reapplied every 2 hours, especially if you are in the water. Even water resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours, and according to the sunburn index.

  • beach umbrella
  • Try to avoid being out in the sun during the hottest part of the day - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - this is when ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the strongest, and the sunburn index is the highest.

  • If you are out during the hottest hours, use a sunblock with an SPF of 50 for maximum protection. Stay in the shade as much as possible. Children playing on the beach should be protected with a beach umbrella.

  • Don't forget to apply protection to ears, back of neck, feet, and the backs of legs. Wear a wide rimmed hat to help protect your skin, face and your head from heat.

  • Use a suncreen that has both UVA and UVB protection, or 'broad spectrum' written on the label. This ensures that the sunscreen provides protection for both kinds of ultraviolet rays.

  • Drink plenty of water - not juice, iced tea or cold drinks. These drinks don't rehydrate.

  • Stay protected even on a cloudy day. Even when the sun is blocked by clouds the sunburn index can still be high. Ultraviolet waves penetrate the clouds and cause sunburn.

You can also listen for Environment Canada's UV Index Report on a number of local Okanagan radio stations - the sunburn index is included in the local weather report whenever it is forecast to reach 3 (moderate) or more that day.

More Okanagan Vacation Guide Pages:
Forest Fires Information
Summer Vacation Ideas
Summer Fun For Kids
Festivals Fairs & Fun Events
Okanagan Wineries

We're always adding new pages about visiting the Okanagan BC. Please do visit often for Okanagan British Columbia travel and tourism activities information, ideas for winter vacations, summer vacation ideas, all the fun Okanagan festivals, fairs and events, shopping, wonderful places to eat, vacation accommodations, great family friendly attractions, Okanagan wineries and golf vacations, and much much more!

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