Sun Safety Tips for Children

Summer is here, and it’s important to keep you and your family protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sun protection is especially important for children, because even one severe sunburn can increase melanoma risk later in life.

Here are four tips to keep your child sun-safe.

1) Apply sunscreen before going outside

Child-friendly sunscreens offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. For younger children, a spray-on sunscreen may be easier to use. Apply sunscreen half an hour before sun exposure to ensure that it gets absorbed by the skin and won’t rub off when your child is outdoors. In addition to the arms, legs, and face, sunscreen should be applied to your child’s ears, scalp, and the back of the neck as well. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming.

2) Choose appropriate clothing for sun protection

In hot weather, you may think to dress your child in light t-shirts, shorts, or dresses. However, dressing your child in clothing that covers the skin is an effective way to keep them protected from UV rays. Dark or bright colors absorb UV rays rather than letting them through to your child’s skin. Choose long sleeves and pants if possible, and increase sun protection with accessories like brimmed hats and sunglasses. Additionally, some clothes come with UPF labels, which tell you how protective they are.

3) Avoid the sun during its strongest hours

The sun’s harmful UV rays are at their peak between 10 am and 4 pm, so reduce your child’s exposure during those times. Plan indoor activities if you can, or keep to the shade if you must go outdoors.

4) Make sun protection a daily habit

UV rays can cause damage all through the year – they can penetrate cloud cover and even reflect off snow. Build sun protection into your child’s daily life to keep them safe from harmful UV rays all year long.