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?

Summer Is Here!

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Summertime! For me it has arrived. There was nothing better than spending last week on the beach with my family. So relaxing and fun.

One family member made the comment that summer vacations are the things that kids will remember most about summer when they grow up. That started me thinking about what I remembered most about summer. I loved going to the beach one week a year, but that week always seemed to go by so quickly.

The thing I remember most about summer is baseball! My brother and I played baseball every day. And because  summer days were so much longer, there was much more time to play! I would rush to get the sports section every morning to see who won, who got the clutch hits, and what pitcher was the hero. I remember looking forward to Saturdays when my Dad was off from work, and we could play a family game of baseball in the backyard. Dad would be the pitcher for both teams, and we would have bases made of frisbees or gloves not in use, but the game might as well have been at Yankee Stadium! During the heat of the day, we would settle down on the couch and watch what was then called the Game of the Week (long before cable). What great memories!

Yesterday on our first day of summer after vacation, we spent our afternoon at the baseball fields watching the boys play baseball (the photo is of Jonathan at first base yesterday—thanks to photographer Brian Jones for the great photo!). As I sat and watched, I thought, It is finally summer … and there’s no other place I would rather be!

What are your favorite memories of summer? What memories do you plan to make as a family this year?