x
Breaking News
More () »

What do UV Index numbers mean?

The higher the number, the higher the intensity of UV radiation, and the worse the sunburn.

HOUSTON — It's important to protect your skin from harmful sun exposure, but how do you know when to lather on the sunscreen? That's where the UV Index, which measure UV radiation levels, can help.

The UV Index is a scale of 1 to 11. The higher the number, the higher the intensity of UV radiation, and the worse the sunburn.

If a person under direct sunlight begins to burn in 30 minutes at UV index 6, then that person should expect to burn in 15 minutes with a UV index of 12, that's twice the UV, twice as fast to burn.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
UV index chart, funny educational infographic for children. Cute cartoon sun character with angry face showing ray strength. Vector illustration.

Here is a closer look at what the different UV Index rankings mean:

1-2 is usually safe. Rays are not very strong.

3-5 is moderate. It's recommended you wear 30 SPF sunscreen, starting midday through the afternoon.

6-9 is high to very high and you want to wear at least 30 SPF from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and start to limit your outdoor activity. Use a hat, glasses and sunscreen early.

10+ is extreme. It's recommended you use caution when outside. Your skin can burn within minutes.

The UV can get as high as 14 near the tropics and can be extremely dangerous.

Chita Craft on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram