The harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays were highlighted in a recent report about Singapore having experienced radiation levels as high as 15 on the UV Index (UV levels in Singapore hit 'extreme' level; Feb 23).
According to the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website, extra protection against sunburn is needed when the UV Index hits "very high" levels of between eight and 10, and "extreme" levels of 11 and above. NEA data also shows that Singapore experiences high levels of UV radiation year round, averaging six to nine on the daily maximum UV Index.
Exposure to UV radiation can cause sunburns, photoageing, cataracts and different types of skin cancers.
As a secondary school student who loves playing soccer every day during recess just before noon and after school in the afternoon, this is an issue I am very concerned about.
There may be many people in our community who do not take protective measures against exposure to UV rays.
Since the damaging effects of UV rays are cumulative over a lifetime, children should be taught from a young age to take more responsibility for their own health.
Schools should hold physical education classes before 10am or after 3pm, when UV radiation is lower, or in indoor sports venues. Students should also be taught to put on sunscreen and wear protective clothing and eyewear to reduce harm to themselves.
Au Eong Tyen Haan, 15
Secondary 3 student