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FWSA hopes that the information contained on this page will be helpful in building awareness about the effects of the sun on snowsport enthusiastics as well as provide ideas for skin care and protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Our focus is for adults to share this information with children to increase their awareness of the sun’s harm and what they can do to protect themselves as they become more independent.

Did You Know?

As the incidence of ski cancer continues to increase, snow sports participants, along with other outdoor athletes, are at increased risk.

Higher altitude, along with prolonged time in the sun, leads to exposure to higher amounts of UV light. Ultaviolet light is what causes sunburn. Reflections off the snow and ice (or water and sand in the summer) increase that exposure even further. SLIP on your helmet.
SLOP on some sunscreen.
SLIDE on your goggles.
SLITHER into the shade whenever possible.

Take the Quiz.

Download the Skin Cancer Prevention Brochure by clicking on thumbnail above.

Download and print a puzzle for children to solve by clicking on the thumbnail above.

Always put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. And SPF of at least 30 is recommended for the snow.

Be Sun Safe – on and off the Snow.
Increased altitude increases UV exposure 8-10% for every 1,000 feet about sea level.
Enjoying the snow at 9,000 – 10,000 feet could mean experiencing UV rays 45-50% more intense than a beachgoer.
Snow reflects 80% of UV light from the sun, often causing you to be hit by the same rays twice.
80-90% of UV rays penetrate haze and clouds, further increasing potential exposure.
Car window do screen out most UVB rays, but they do not protect again harmful UVA rays which is proven to damage DNA in deep layers of the skin.
Suncreeens offering both UVA and UVB protection provide better overall sun damage protection.

Sun Safety Tips

Each time you go out in the sun, apply an ounce of suncreeen as part of your sun protection routine.
Seek shade when the sun is most intense between 10 AM and 4 PM. When you are out between 10 and 4, be sure to make your own shade— wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, long pants and UV blocking sunglasses
Use SPF15 or higher sunscreen (30 or higher in the snow) that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. A sport sunscreen is less likely to irritate the eyes.
Apply sunscreen everywhere the sun can see, including ears, under eyes, lips, top of hands, feet, shoulders, neck, behind knees and your back.
Wear sunscreen everyday, winter, spring, summer and fall.
Apply one ounce of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
Reapply one ounce of sunscreen every two hours while outside.
Protect your face and neck; wear a hat with a 4-inch brim.
Wear UV blocking sunglasses.


This project was funded by Cooperative Agreement Number 58DP000807 from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The Far West Ski Association would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Ski Cancer Prevention Program for their support in funding this awareness program. Thanks also to Dr. Paul Collins, MD, for his medical expertise.
For additional information on child friendly ski protection information and activates visit www.skincancer.org/school.