A little fun in the sun can be a great way to soak up some vitamin D and stay active as a family; however, unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays can be dangerous for kids and adults. Ensure that your children enjoy the sun safely with these sun safety tips for the whole family:

  • Before heading outdoors, dress babies and children in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs and don’t forget a brimmed hat.
  • For infants less than 6 months of age, stick to the shade and stay out of direct sunlight.
  • Choose sunscreen that is waterproof, screens against both ultraviolet B (UB) and ultraviolet A (UVA), and is made for children. Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, although we suggest using SPF 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen for your children, remembering to cover their ears, noses, the backs of their knees, their lips, feet, along hairlines or parts, and on other easily missed areas.
  • Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every 2 hours when children are playing outdoors. For a day at the pool or beach, reapply waterproof sunscreen every hour or when children come out of the water.
  • Cover up! Provide your children with comfortable, breathable, and protective clothing and swim cover-ups. Cotton is the perfect fabric for sunny days because it remains cool during warmer months while still offering adequate sun protection.
  • Choose a hat with a brim or a bill that faces forward and pick sunglasses with UV protection to shield your child’s eyes.
  • Use sunscreen and sun protection measures even when it’s cloudy; most of the sun’s rays can still come through the clouds on an overcast day.

If a day in the sun turns into sunburn, follow these steps for treating the burn:

  • Sunburn on a baby under one year old should be treated as an emergency; contact your medical care provider immediately.
  • For children one year and older, contact your doctor if there is severe pain, blistering, or fever.
  • Sunburns on children one year and older can cause dehydration; provide kids with water and juice to keep them adequately hydrated.
  • Light moisturizing lotion or aloe vera can be effective for treating sunburn; however, do not rub the lotion in if touching the skin is painful.

For more information about sun protection or questions about treating sunburn, contact the staff at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic. Stay safe and have fun in the sun!