Advice from Bright Futures Clinic.
The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, but it can also harm your child’s skin. Here are some tips on how to keep your kids safe in the sun:
- Use sunscreen. Sunscreen is the most important sun protection for kids. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it liberally to all exposed skin, including the face, ears, neck, and hands. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more often if your child is sweating or swimming.
- Wear protective clothing. Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants made of tightly woven fabric can help protect your child’s skin from the sun. Hats with a brim that shades the face, ears, and neck are also good.
- Sunglasses. Sunglasses with UV protection can help protect your child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. Avoid being in the sun during these hours, especially if your child has fair skin.
- Stay in the shade. If you are going to be outside, find a shady spot to relax. Trees, umbrellas, and awnings can all provide shade.
- Take breaks. Encourage your child to take breaks from the sun every 30 minutes or so. Go inside for a cool drink or play in the shade.
- Be a role model. Kids learn by watching the adults in their lives. If you want your child to wear sunscreen and stay in the shade, ensure you do the same.
These tips can help keep your kids safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Talk to your child about the importance of sun safety. Explain how the sun can damage their skin and eyes and how to protect themselves.
- Check your child’s medications for any that can make them more sensitive to the sun.
- If your child has a history of sunburns, talk to their Bright Futures Clinic doctor about other sun protection measures they can take.
- Make sure your child’s sunscreen is water-resistant and reapply it often, especially after swimming or sweating.
- Keep an eye on your child for signs of sunburn, such as redness, pain, swelling, and blisters. If your child shows any of these signs, take them inside and apply cool compresses to the affected area. If the sunburn is severe, call their Bright Futures Clinic doctor.
Following these tips can help keep your kids safe from the sun and prevent skin cancer.
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