What is the UV Index and why is it important?

What does the UV Index mean anyway, and why is it so important to people in general? Most people know about sun protection through SPF sunscreens and UPF clothing products that are UV rated, and they realize that they should use both, but do they actually understand the medical concerns that go along with exposure to the sun? It is important for anyone to familiarize themselves with the UV Index and the right kind of products in order to gain protection from exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.


Ultraviolet (UV) is invisible solar radiation. It is a band of light with a certain frequency that goes beyond the violet end of the spectrum, which can be harmful to the skin and other areas of the body.

In easier to understand terms, UV radiation is a kind of energy that is produced by the sun and artificial means. It’s not like the heat or light from the sun, which can be seen and felt. It is not possible to sense or detect UV radiation or its detrimental effects until after they occur. There are three types of UV rays, which cause the following:

•UVA rays (premature aging and wrinkling)
•UVB rays (cause sunburn and cataracts)
•UVC rays (strongest rays that are blocked by the ozone layer)

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is harmful as it is the chief cause of skin cancer, plus it leads to premature aging, tanning damage, eye problems, sunburn, photo sensitivity and other skin related problems and health issues. The one advantage to sun exposure (in a limited manner) is that it does provide a source of Vitamin D.

UV Index

The UV Index linear scale that is used in America follows international guidelines for UVI reporting, which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is important to know the scale and understand what it means in relation to avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

The scale is indexed in levels from 1 to 11+, and the level indicator is affected by different factors in various regions of the country, particularly where the sun is the most intense. Determination of the scale movement is indicated by:

•Time of day
•Cloud cover
•Approximation to the equator

The various scale levels include:

Low Reading 0-2 (Green)

•Signals low danger from sun’s UV rays
•Utilize sunglasses on sunny days
•Use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
•Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water)

Moderate Reading 3-5 (Yellow)

•Signals moderate risk from sun’s UV rays
•Remain in the shade during the middle of the day
•Wear appropriate sun protective clothing
• large hat, UV blocking sunglasses
•Use broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
•Reapply every two hours, even on an overcast day or after swimming and sweating
•Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water)

High Reading 6-7 (Orange)

•Signals high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly for skin and eyes)
•Decrease time in the sun between 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon
•Wear protective clothing

•sunhat,face mask, UV blocking sunglasses
•Use (generously) broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
•Reapply every two hours, even on an overcast day or after swimming and sweating
•Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water)Very High Reading 8-10 (Red)

•Signals very high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly for skin and eyes)
•Decrease time in the sun between 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon
•Wear protective clothing
•sunhat,face mask, UV blocking sunglasses
•Use (generously) broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
•Reapply every two hours, even on an overcast day or after swimming and sweating
•Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water)

Extreme Reading 11+ (Violet)

• Signals very high risk from sun’s UV rays (particularly concerning skin and eyes)
• Decrease time in the sun between 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon and seek shade
• Wear protective clothing
• sunhat, face mask, UV blocking sunglasses
• Use (generously) broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen
• Reapply every two hours, even on an overcast day or after swimming and sweating
• Anticipate brightness/reflection of UV in different surfaces (sand, snow, water)

UPF Protection

Protective clothing is one of best ways to deter skin damage from ultraviolet rays of the sun. A UPF factor determines just how effective a clothing item can be in protecting individuals from the ravages of the sun’s rays, and a Hoo-rag bandana just may be the answer to an easy and fast way to sun protection.

A Hoo-rag is an innovative bandana type headgear piece that can be worn in a number of different ways. Its fabric content is 100% polyester microfiber that is made to pull moisture away from the head and other areas, such as the neck and face. It provides quick evaporation, plus it is rated at 30 UPF, and it can be maneuvered and shaped in countless ways to provide protection and relief from heat. This all-around bandana is one multifaceted piece of fabric.

UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor

The UPF factor stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor,” and is a standard rating system that measures the effectiveness of the blocking of the sun’s rays in clothing and other types of specifically made UPF or UV gear. The items are designed to screen out both UVA and UVB rays.

The UPF categories under the American rating system include:

• Good UPF = 15-24
• Very Good UPF = 25-39
• Excellent UPF = 40-50+

Sun protection is important, and the UV Index is one of the best indicators as to what the intensity and effect of the sun’s rays are going to be on any given day. It enables individuals that are planning on spending time outdoors to be prepared with adequate UPF protection through the right UV rated clothing items they choose to wear, and with what a Hoo-rag offers, there is no limit to your fun in the sun.

Tips for Keeping Children Protected in the Sun

Who doesn’t love the swimming in the pool or heading to the park during the summer, especially when you can spend time with your own kids? However, as fun as being outside may be, even the smallest sunburns can greatly increase your child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life. With such a high-risk factor, it is crucial that you take sun protection very seriously. Follow these tips to protect your child from the sun and keep them safe during the warm season.

1. Pay Attention to the News for the UV Rating

One of the best ways to tell if your child will need sunscreen is listening to the daily news and weather channels. They can offer heat advisories and determine if it’s unsafe to be outside based on UV exposure. It’s also wise to follow what local officials say as well.  You can also become familiar with the UV Index Scale.  It has great measurements and recommendations based on the weather and expected UV exposure.

2. Put on Sunscreen Correctly

One of the biggest reasons people still get sunburns is because they don’t apply sunscreen the right way. It’s important that you remember to put sunscreen on your child 30 minutes prior to them going outside. Ensure that you follow the recommended guidelines from the UV Index scale – sunscreen that has an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, of at least 30 is recommended even at the lowest level.  You can try using colorful or scented sunscreen for your kids so they can see what areas on their body are being covered with protection. Remember to apply sunscreen to their hands, nose, ears, shoulders, and neck along with a matching lip balm for their lips.  It is suggested that sun screen is re-applied every three hours when outside.

3. Wear Eye Protection

Not only can the sun damage your child’s skin, but their eyes as well. Having a good pair of high-quality UV rated sunglasses can be a great way to protect their eyes when they are outside.  The UV Index recommends that sunglasses be worn even when the index level is at its lowest, so it’s a good idea to have their sunglasses with them at all times.  Not sure if their sunglasses have a high enough rating to ensure protection? Zip in to see any optician or optometrist for help.

4. Wear Protective Clothing

Even though sunscreen can protect your skin, you can also protect yourself by covering up when going outside. Going outside with your skin exposed can leave children prone to sunburns that may not show up for several hours.  Instead, dress them in darker colors and long sleeves if possible.  Hats and bandanas are great accommodations to protect their head, face, and neck.   Hoo-rag provides both hats and tubular bandanas that can be worn 10+ ways to help ensure coverage and protection for long hours in the sun.

5. Learn What Heat-Based Illnesses Are and How to Identify Them

To protect your child from heat-based illnesses, learn what they are and how to identify them. One example is heat stroke which is accompanied by headaches, dizziness, lack of sweating despite the heat, cramps and so on. Learning the types of illnesses your child can run into and how to prevent them can go a long way to helping them have fun in the sun.  Some easy preventions include staying in shady areas when possible, drinking plenty of water, skipping hot meals when outside and finding an air conditioned place to play if the weather starts to warm up. Speaking of play time…

6. Limit Play Time to Hours Early in the Day

During days when the UV Index Scale is high, try to avoid letting your child play outside when the sun is at its strongest. This is usually between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.  It is suggested that you follow this guideline on cloudy days even if it doesn’t seem warm or dangerous. The sun’s rays can still penetrate through the cloud cover and cause sun burns.

Protect Your Child from Developing Too Much Damage From the Sun

It’s important to note that even a few small sunburns greatly increase the risk of your child developing skin cancer. All it takes is 15 unprotected minutes to get a sunburn. However, it takes your skin nearly 12 hours to show the full effects of sun damage. Anyone could get a burn and not know it until the next day.  Playing outside at cooler times of the day while wearing bandanas, appropriate clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses can go a long way to ensuring your child gets a great start in learning how to prevent sun damage and cancer later on. By following these simple tips, you can prevent the pain of a sunburn in the short term and the risk of skin cancer in the long term.

The Latest Hoo-rag Head Scratcher

Starting this week and through November, when you order any of our Hoo-rag products you’ll receive our latest Hoo-rag Head Scratcher. Your reward for having fun with us? 25% off of your next purchase. The coupon will be good through December 31, 2017, will not combine with other offers and will not apply to any item currently on sale. In order to use the coupon, you must view your cart before checking out and enter the coupon into the field there.

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