Heat Illness Prevention & Sun Safety

Sun Safety

Last Updated: July 31, 2018

​Sunburn is the most common UV-related injury from sunlight exposure. 

Snow blindness

  • In snow-covered areas Soldiers risk both sunburn and "snow blindness," a brief painful swelling of the eye.   
  • High lifetime sun exposure increases the risk for skin cancer and cataract blindness.


  • Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally (minimum of 1 oz) approximately 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply at least every two hours throughout the day.
  • Apply sunscreen first, followed by repellent containing DEET. Apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes prior to applying DEET skin repellent and reapply sunscreen more often throughout the day.


  • Work and rest in the shade when possible. Construct shades if necessary.
  • Short shadow = seek shade! The sun's rays are strongest between 100 and 1600 hours.


  • Use wide-brimmed hats to protect your eyes, head and neck.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing to cover your arms, legs and torso.


  • Eyewear should block UV rays. Military Combat Eye Protection items block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use wraparound design eyewear if possible. These will protect against sun rays that come from the front and side.


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