For children, going out in the sun in the summer is what they do and it is fun. But it is important to teach them the proper ways to protect themselves while they are in the sun. Here are some tips to help protect them while they are out in the sun this summer.
- The worst hours for going out in the sun are from 10am to 4pm. Try to avoid being out in the sun during these time frames. With your children being at summer camps during these times it is hard for them to avoid being out in the sun. So make sure they have the maximum amount of sun protection.
- During the peak sun hours the best SPF to use is SPF50.
- Apply sunscreen a half an hour before exposure to the sun. Your skin takes time to absorb the sunscreen.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen all over including: Ears, feet, behind the legs and if not wearing a hat any exposed scalp.
- Reapply every two hours especially if going in the water.
- If the temperature is not too hot wear light-weight, long sleeved shirts or any clothing to protect skin.
- Wear sunglasses and a wide brim hat.
- When possible remain in shaded areas.
- When purchasing sunscreen make sure it has UVA and UVB protection. This will be written on the label or look for the words “broad spectrum”. This means that the sunscreen provides protection for both kinds of rays.
- It is important to at least use SPF 15 according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If it is any lower it provides little to no protection for your skin.
- When swimming it is important to use water resistant and water proof sunscreen. Water resistant sunscreen only provides 40 minutes of protection in the water. If you plan to spend an hour or more in the water use water proof sunscreen which gives you 80 minutes of protection.
- Pay very close attention to your skin. Check the size and shape of any visible moles regularly. If there are differences in any of those contact your doctor with the changes.
- Check any medications that your child may be taking. Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.
- Beware of cloudy days. 80% of the sun’s rays penetrate the clouds.
- Be careful at high altitudes or around water where burning occurs more quickly.
- For your child to learn proper sun safety it is important that you set a good example for your kids and follow all of the sun safety tips yourself.
Here are some helpful tips to follow if your child does get sunburn:
- Have your child take a cool (not cold) bath, or gently apply cool wet compresses to the skin to help alleviate the pain and heat.
- To ease discomfort, apply pure Aloe Vera gel to any sunburned areas.
- Give your child an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or use acetaminophen to lessen the pain and itching.
- Apply topical moisturizing cream to rehydrate the skin and treat itching. For more seriously sunburned areas, apply a thin layer of 1% hydrocortisone cream to help with the pain.
- If the sunburn is severe and blisters develop, call the doctor.
- Tell your children to not scratch, pop or squeeze any blisters or pull of the peeling skin. The new skin can become easily infected and result in scarring.
- If your child is sunburned keep them out of the sun to not further damage the sunburned areas due to the skin being more sensitive.
All of these helpful sun safety tips were gathered from the following sites: