Skin Cancer

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Be UV Aware – Solar UV Index

It’s important to be UV aware in order to stay safe in the sun.

The UV index is a much more accurate way of determining your risk of skin and eye damage than just relying on the air temperature. UV levels can be high enough to damage your skin even on cool or overcast days.


uv index

What is today’s UV level? 

The information is available from the Met Office and the Met Office weather app is a useful tool to help keep track of the UV levels at your location. Or you can download this poster and place on your fridge to scan and find out the daily UV level in your area.


How to Be UV Aware:

For more detailed information on the UV index and what it means for us check out this video.


What do the numbers represent?

The UV index was developed by the World Health Organisation and has a scale of 0 – 11+ . The UV index value takes into account the effects of:

  • The position of the sun in the sky
  • The altitude
  • The time of day and time of year
  • Cloud cover and other weather conditions

In NI the UV index peaks each day between 11am and 3pm. It is 3 or above on many days between March and October and can reach 7 or 8 in mid-summer.

When the UV index is 3 or more you need to protect your skin and eyes. Here’s how.


What is the risk to me?

The risk of damage to your skin can be assessed based on your skin type from the information below:

  • 1-2 Low Risk
    The sun is unlikely to burn you whatever your skin type
  • 3-4 Low-Medium Risk
    If you have fair or sensitive skin you are at medium risk and should use adequate sun protection. Children fall into this category
  • 5-6 High Risk
    Everyone needs to use sun protection if they are outside – the recommended SPF is 15+. People with black skin are at low risk
  • 7-10 High to Very High Risk
    Everyone should cover up as well as using sunscreen regardless of their skin colour
  • 10+ Very High Risk
    People with white skin are at a very high risk
    People with brown skin are at medium to high risk
    People with black skin are at medium risk

Find out how you can protect your skin and eyes from sun damage.