Dangerous UV Rays In Florida


Laila Rahbari

Photo Credit: US EPA

Ava Flaute, Designer

As we approach our spring and summer months, UV exposure is starting to increase. On a day-to-day basis, if you step outside in the mid-afternoon you will be overwhelmed with the Florida heat. On most days during this time of year, it is very sunny, hot, and bright. Most people are unaware of how to protect themselves from these climate conditions. If you are outside for even as little as 45 minutes, there is a highly likely chance of still getting a sunburn if you do not take proper steps. This can cause major problems and even lead to underlying health effects. 

It is highly recommended for everyone to put some form of sunscreen on their face in the morning before they step outside in the heat. Sunscreen is able to protect your face from getting a sunburn which can be gruesomely painful. Most people put on their sunscreen right after waking up and while they are doing other necessary self-care procedures. Any form of sunscreen whether it be a lotion or a cream will still do the job and protect your skin. It is strongly recommended by all dermatologists to protect yourself from the high UV indexes experienced on a daily basis.

Health Academy Sophomore Flordelee Pino states “Each morning I wake up, I put sun lotion on my face to protect it when the UV rays are reaching dangerous levels.”

When the weather starts to warm up, the UV index reaches unbearable levels. The UV index is an ultraviolet index that measures the strength of radiation to your skin. A safe UV index is around three to five and it is considered a moderate range. However, a zero to two is a low risk of any sun damage to your skin while an eight to 10 is a very high risk without any sunscreen. Right now in Florida’s afternoon, the UV index is staying around nine to 10 which is an extremely high risk of sun damage to your skin without any protection. Everyone needs to be aware of the high UV exposures so they know what necessary measures they need to take to protect their skin before stepping outside. As the seasons start to change, and we approach summer we can expect these UV indexes to stay in the high-risk range. 

Seminole High School Sophomore Fatima Hussain expresses “I always like to check the UV index before going outside and if it is above a 4 and I am outside for a while I will wear proper clothing and apply sunscreen every 30 to 45 minutes.”

If you do not take necessary measures when out in the sun it can cause first-degree burns or sometimes even third-degree burns. Even worse, if you never wear sunscreen when out in the sun it can sometimes cause cases of skin cancer. 

Hussain says “To protect myself when I’m out in the sun for most of the day, I like to wear a hat to cover my face and use healthy gels such as aloe vera to prevent sunburns.”

Nobody likes to get a sunburn, it can cause major swelling and blisters wherever you were burnt. With a very bad sunburn, you could even experience headaches, weakness, or nausea. More severely, some people even get skin cancer because they take unsafe measures and lay in the sun on a daily basis for hours without any sunscreen. You will know when this occurs when you see firm red nodules appear on your face or anywhere you were burnt. Other ways to help prevent any type of burn or skin cancer besides sunscreen are to use sunglasses and hats to help cover your body from the sun, seek the shade, and always check your skin after getting out from the sun.