New smartphone apps protect against harmful sun exposure

SEATTLE - The sun is in the forecast for days to come, but when it comes to protecting yourself from its harmful rays, your smartphone now has your back - and your front.

When the sun comes out around here, many of us can't wait to grab some rays.

But nanny Carleigh Davis knows you have to protect yourself and the little ones.

"I try to go by the actual time instead of waiting for them to get pink," she says. "By then they are already sunburned."

And for folks who work outside, sun protection is even more important.

On a bright, sunny day you may use all kinds of things to protect yourself from the sun, such as sunscreen or maybe a big hat, but you can use something you may not have thought of - a smartphone app.

Coppertone has an app you can load on your phone that will tell you exactly how strong the sun's rays are and exactly what you should wear to protect yourself.

The information is in real time, so you know how long you can stay out and when to reapply sunscreen. And the best part - it's free.

If you would like a more official app, another free one from the Environmental Protection Agency shows you which hours of the day the sun's rays are expected to be the strongest.

But would sun lovers actually use these apps?

Nanny Carleigh Davis says she would - because of the convenience. "We use apps for everything else, why not sun exposure?" she says.

And a quick download could keep you from a painful summer.

Both the Coppertone and EPA apps are available for download for Apple and Android phones.