If you need to be outside during midday hours (between 10 am and 4 pm) this summer, take steps to reduce sun exposure.

Stay in the shade, especially during midday, under an umbrella, a tree, or other shelter.

Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.

Wear sunglasses that block UV and UVB rays. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side. Sunglasses protect your eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts.

Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing is certified under international standards as offering UV protection.

Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher every 2 hours. Reapply sunscreen after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Check the sunscreen's expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than 3 years. Its shelf life is shorter if it is exposed to high temperatures.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to UV light. Skin cancer can be disfiguring and even deadly. UV rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun's UV rays in as little as 15 minutes. Damage from exposure to UV rays builds up over a lifetime. Even on cloudy days, UV rays are present and can be reflected from water, sand, and snow.

This is the perfect time to consider "Summer Sun" by Robert Louis Stevenson which was included in "A Children's Garden of Verses" written in 1885:

"Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven without repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlor cool, Yet he will find a chick or two To slip his golden fingers through."