Summer is a great time for children to be healthy and active outdoors! However, with the sunny weather comes the risk of sun dangers. Follow these sun safety tips to ensure that you and your kiddos have a fun and safe summer!
For babies under six months:
The two primary recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn in babies are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of hands. If an infant gets a sunburn, apply cold compresses to the affected area.
For all children over six months:
The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97%-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave. Staying in the shade whenever possible and limiting sun exposure during the peak intensity hours (between 10am and 4pm) are also key in preventing sun damage.
On both sunny and cloudy days, children should use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to apply enough of the sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. After sweating or swimming, sunscreen can rub off. Be sure to reapply every two hours and use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and National Institute for Child and Human Development (NICHD)