With hot summer weather now in full gear, trips to the park, beach and pool mean more sun exposure. Because sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later on in life, children need protection from the sun’s harmful rays whenever they’re outdoors.
Plan indoor activities during midday
UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it’s best to plan indoor activities during those times. If not, check the outdoor area where your child plays to make sure there is adequate shade.
One of the best ways to protect your children from the sun is to cover up and shield skin from sun’s rays. Long-sleeved, unbleached cotton clothing is cool and comfortable while also highly protective. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that protects face, neck, and ears and sun glasses to protect the eyes.
Use sunscreen. And repeat!
Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Take sunscreen with you to reapply during the day, especially after your child swims or exercises.
Keep infants out of the sun
Infant’s skin are thinner and burn more easily than that of older kids. But sunscreen should not be applied to babies under 6 months of age, so they absolutely must be kept out of the sun whenever possible.
Avoid excess exposure
Sunscreen is not meant to allow kids to spend more time in the sun than they would otherwise. Try combining sunscreen with other options to prevent sun damage.
True or false?
If you stay in the sun all day, you should apply an entire tube (6 oz.) of sunscreen throughout the day?
True! Most apply only 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen,” reports the American Academy of Dermatology. It is advised you put on an ounce of sunscreen and reapply this same amount about every two hours when exposed to the sun. Don’t wait for the burn to start!