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.