The weather will be nice: it’s time to apply sunscreen

The weather is nice, and the sun is shining, so it’s time to protect yourself from UV rays. A new government campaign is raising awareness about dealing wisely with ‘lubricating weather’. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world. The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet rays. UV exposure occurs when exposed to sunlight and exposure while using tanning beds. You can protect yourself from the sun with three simple tips: lubricate, maintain clothing and the sun. It’s best not to use tanning beds, according to the Health and Welfare Agency.

As an initiative to curb the increasing infection rates, Care and Health is launching a new UVA awareness campaign: the “SMEERWEER Campaign” ( This campaign focuses on promoting UV-protective behavior among Flemish citizens.

“I hope we will soon be able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. This includes being able to enjoy the bright spring sun. But it is important to do it in a safe way. By rubbing yourself in the sun, with clothes and a hat. Covering the skin and sometimes blocking,” says Flemish Minister Wouter Beck. Sun rays, you can fully enjoy it and at the same time protect yourself from the risks of skin cancer due to UV rays.

Why the weather smear campaign?
The SMEERWEER campaign is a large-scale public campaign aimed at encouraging Flemish citizens to use the sun wisely. Skin cancer is on the rise in Belgium and more than 90% of it is attributed to excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays. By modifying your behavior, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

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What is swab weather?
Smeerweer is the new term to be launched during this campaign, with which the Flemish government wants to educate Flemish citizens how to deal with UV rays in a reasonable way. Smear weather correlates with the UV index, as indicated by RMI. The UV index is given a value from 0 (low UV intensity, the skin burns slowly) to 11+ (very high UV intensity, the skin burns almost instantly). If this number is equal to or higher than 3, then it is lubrication weather. In bad weather, it is important that citizens protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet rays, even at times when the sun does not seem very bright at first glance.

What should I do if the weather is wet?
To deal with UV rays wisely, there are 3 important tips:

  1. Block out the sun: Look for shade during the hours of intense UV rays, usually between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Also in the shade, consider the reflection of UV rays from water, sand or snow.
  2. Clothing: Cover the skin with clothing that covers the arms and legs, and wear a wide-brimmed hat/hat and sunglasses with UV-blocking lenses to shade your face and neck.
  3. Lubrication: Apply generously 30 minutes before sun exposure with a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on the skin and repeat every 2-3 hours. These three actions can be found throughout the campaign materials with the following appeal: “Block the sun, clothes, and grease!”

However, dealing with the sun and UV rays sensibly does not mean that we should be afraid of the sun. On the contrary, adequate exposure to the sun also has positive effects on health. One of the processes in the human body where ultraviolet rays play a very important role in the production of vitamin D. The above three tips are not meant to avoid the sun at all times, but they do help in keeping your sun exposure healthy.

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Do these tips apply to everyone?
These three tips can be applied by all residents. Protecting yourself from the harmful effects of UV rays is beneficial for everyone. For children and young adults, applying these tips is even more important. Exposure to a harmful amount of UV radiation at a young age can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer in adulthood. It is therefore important that children who have not yet been able to apply these three tips themselves, are helped by their parents, guardian or teacher.

“Children and young people are often unaware of the dangers that harmful UV rays can pose to their young skin,” says Flemish Education and Sports Minister Ben Waits. “Whether on the playground or during sports and exercise at camp, it is extremely important for children to adequately protect themselves from UV rays. I call on parents, school boards and sports camp organizers to pay more attention to protecting children and young people from the sun. Enough sun cream, wear protective clothing and let the kids move around in the shade as much as possible.”

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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