Fun in the Sun — Safely!

56_Child-with-sunscreen.jpgDo you remember what if feels like to be sunburned? Miserable! That memory of the pain of sunburn is enough to remind me to slather on the sunscreen when I know I am going to be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. However, I am occasionally reminded that sunburns can happen anytime of year and even on cloudy days. I forgot the sunscreen once this baseball season on what started out as a cloudy, rainy day. By the end of the game I had gotten my share of sun!

As you head outside this summer, here are some sun safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for your kids:

Babies Under 6 Months

  • Avoid sun exposure and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
  • When adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of suncreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands.
  • If an infant gets sunburn, apply cold compresses to the affected area.

For Young Children

  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
  • The SPF should be at least 15 and protect against UVA and UVB rays.

For Older Children

  • The first, and best, line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours — between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

How do you plan to have fun in the sun this summer?

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