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Horror stories abound about how dangerous the sun can be. You don't want to fall victim to the sun's rays. The sun does provide valuable vitamins and nutrients for your skin, but too much sun can cause problems. Here are some easy ways to tell how dangerous the sun is.

+ Take note of the color of the sky. The deeper blue the sky is, the more dangerous the sun can be. If the sky is deep blue in color, that means there is less protection between you and the sun. The lighter blue the sky is, the more clouds and other atmospheric layers there are between you and the sun to best protect you.
+ Check out your shadow. Note how long your shadow is and how crisp your outline is. The shorter and less defined your shadow is, the more dangerous the sun is. If you donÆt have a shadow at all, the sun is right over you and is at its most dangerous and direct level. If you have a long and deep shadow, the sun is hitting you at an angle and you aren't at as great of risk from the sun's rays.
+ Note your altitude. The higher you are in the earth's atmosphere, the more dangerous the sun can be. If you're at a high elevation, the atmosphere and ozone layer are thin, and the sun hits you more directly. If you are lower in elevation, there are typically more atmospheric layers to protect you from the sun.
+ If you're at the beach, the sun hits you doubly hard. Sand tends to reflect the sun's rays to your body. You then get double the radiation.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from the sun's rays.

+ Always wear sun screen. SPF 15 or higher is recommended.
+ Wear wide-brimmed hats when you're outside. Wide-brimmed hats protect your face and head from harmful rays.
+ Wear sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses that fully protect your eyes can prevent eye diseases associated with looking into bright lights.