With spring in full swing, the days are getting much warmer and sunnier. Families are enjoying bike riding around Toogood Pond, people are enjoying running or walking along Main Street, and outdoor summer sports are about to begin. That is why May is also Melanoma Awareness Month. And with a few tips and reminders, we can all stay as safe as possible.

According to Health Canada, about one-third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancers, and the rate continues to rise. By taking some measures to protect yourself and your family from the sun, you can help to prevent the long-term consequences of too much sun, such as skin cancer, and also the short-term effects, such as sunburn.

Here are some things to remember to help protect you from the sun’s rays, so you can go outside and have your best summer yet.

  • The sun’s rays are strongest from 11 am to 4 pm
  • Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30
  • Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before going outside
  • Re-apply sunscreen after activities causing you to sweat or after swimming
  • Make sure your sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, hats, and sunglasses
  • Check your skin regularly so you know what is normal for your body and to notice any changes or new growths