Australians know a lot about skin cancer and tend to be a very sun smart lot. We apply our sunscreen, wear the right clothes, and generally try to protect ourselves as much as possible from the dangerous UV radiation. General studies and surveys have found, however, that we are not quite as sun smart in the winter months. For some reason, we feel that the sun in winter is just not as strong. Perhaps it’s because the days are cooler and we simply don’t notice it anymore but we tend to forget our sun protection during winter. This makes the winter months as dangerous, if not more dangerous than the summer ones.
It is a good idea, therefore, to continue protecting yourself from UV rays during winter as well as during summer. This means continuing with the sunscreen, staying under shelter in the noon day sun, etc. This makes your pergolas the place to be even during the winter months. After all, the best protection against the sun is to stay out of it as much as possible. Sitting under a pergola allows you to still enjoy the sunshine without bearing the full brunt of the direct sun.
Of course you should still apply your sunscreen but you will find that the pergola will protect you quite a bit – you can still easily get sunburnt in inter. To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to follow the same precautions in winter that you would have in summer. Stay indoors or under shelter when the sun is at its peak; cover up with clothes that are able to block radiation and then still apply your sunscreen as usual.
It is a good idea to consider the cooler winter months when building your pergolas – you may want to actually consider a pergola that you can close off if the weather is a bit chilly. It is very nice to sit outdoors during winter, especially if the weather is a little cooler but you may need to protect yourself from a little wind. This is easily achieved if you consider this when you put your pergola up in the first place.
Overall, the message about sun safety in winter is exactly the same as it is in summer – the sun’s rays may feel weaker but the radiation is just as potent. Make sure to be as vigilant during the winter months as you are during the summer ones.