According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the sun will be shining frequently the upcoming days. If you are planning to go out and enjoy the sunshine, please do so responsibly. Because your skin is not yet used to UV radiation, you will get sunburnt easily. Please bear in mind that the UV index will rise sharply from this month and remain high until September. You should therefore take care to protect yourself against the sun’s rays in the coming six months.

Protect yourself

To avoid getting sunburnt, you need to take care to protect yourself. Take precautions against sunburn if you plan to spend long periods outdoors between 11:00 and 16:00.

  • In any case, you should keep out of the sun and stay inside or in the shade as much as possible between 12:00 and 15:00.
  • Cover up with sun-protective clothing and wear a wide-brimmed cap or hat and sunglasses that offer UV protection.
  • Put sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 (at least 50 for children) and with a UV filter on all uncovered skin.
  • Take extra care to protect young children against UV radiation.

Health effects of UV radiation

The stronger the UV radiation, the greater the effects on your health. Exposure to sunlight can be both good and bad for your health. Sunshine puts people in a better mood and makes them want to go outside more. They take more physical exercise, which can help prevent chronic disease. UV radiation also makes your body produce more vitamin D, which you need for healthy bones and muscles. However, UV radiation can be bad for your health as well. Your skin ages by UV exposure. UV radiation is also the dominant cause of skin cancer: chronic UV exposure and getting sunburnt are risk factors for developing skin cancer in the future. UV exposure can also cause cataracts.

Calculating the UV index

The impact of UV radiation on your health is why RIVM measures the strength of the sun’s radiation. Based on these measurements, which are taken around every 10 minutes, RIVM then calculates the UV index and immediately publishes it on its website to aid people with their planning for the day.