JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Amid the summer heat, state health officials are urging Missourians to protect themselves from the sun.
UV Safety Awareness Month starts Wednesday, and the state health department is reminding the public about the importance of avoiding sunburn.
Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays increases the risk of cataracts and skin cancer. State officials say exposure to sunlight leads to 20,000 new skin cancer cases in Missouri each year.
Health officials recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15, wearing sunglasses that block UV-A and UV-B rays, and trying to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.