Now that summer is here in full effect, your kids are probably very excited about getting outside as much as possible and enjoying the beautiful weather. Playing outside and being physically active is great for kids but it’s important to ensure your child is properly protected from too much sun exposure when they head outdoors. Even just a couple bad sunburns as a child can greatly increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.
Picking the Right Sunscreen for Your Child
Since 2007, EWG Sunscreen Guide has been the go-to manual for parents looking to protect their children from harmful UV rays. As you’re probably very familiar with sunscreen by now, you may think you can go right back to the same brand you’ve always used.
Believe it or not, the sunscreen industry remains a dynamic one, so we really recommend you check out that link to make sure your current favorite is truly an effective choice.
For example, despite conventional wisdom, high SPF sunscreens can be dangerous. EWG also recommends against sunscreens with vitamin A, even though they’ve become quite popular. They even rank natural sunscreen options if that’s the type you prefer.
Don’t Stop at Just Using Sunscreen
Far too many well-meaning parents think that sunscreen is enough to keep their children safe. Remember to practice these other effective methods of keeping your child’s skin safe:
- Seek Shade – You can still enjoy fresh air and comfortable temperatures without being directly in the sun.
- Cover Your Skin – There are plenty of long sleeve shirts and pants that will help protect your skin without making you overheat. Hats are great too. Bring the shade wherever you go!
- Wear Sunglasses – Too much exposure to sunlight can cause cataracts later on in life. Get some affordable options for your children that help protect the skin around their eyes too.
Sunscreen should always be applied to your children’s skin 30 minutes before they go out in the sun and reapplied every 2 hours while they remain outside.
Don’t Trust Cloud Coverage
Finally, if the forecast calls for overcast skies, you may think none of the above is necessary. Remember, it’s the UV rays that are the problem and clouds won’t block them out. At best, they just provide a filter.
With these sun safety tips in hand, you and your children are set to enjoy whatever summer fun you have planned! If you have any questions about sun safety for your child or how to treat a sunburn, contact our staff at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic.