Summer days bring out the kid in all of us. Yet, as parents, we need to make sure fun in the sun is safely done. So, here are some easy, sun-smart tips for safe family play all summer long!
The first and best line of defense against the sun, for all ages, is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure when UV rays peak between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Dressing for the Weather
- Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you don't feel thirsty
- Opt for air conditioning when it heats up. Strenuous activities such as running, biking and yard work should be rescheduled for a cooler day or time.
- Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle
- Keep babies younger than six months out of direct sun light as much as possible. Stay in the shade by finding trees or using an umbrella or stroller canopy. When protective clothing and shade is not available.
- For babies under 1 year dress them in lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats that shade the face and neck.
- For adults and children, wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays and lightweight, loose-fitting cotton clothing. Not only will these clothes protect you from the sun, they will also help you maintain a normal body temperature.
It is important to protect your family from skin cancer later in life by preventing sunburns now. Apply enough sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) to cover all exposed skin, even the backs of the knees. Rub it in well 15-30 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days.
For babies older than six months, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, but be careful when applying it around the eyes. If the sunscreen you use irritates his or her skin, try a different brand or a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Contact your child’s doctor if a rash occurs.
For babies younger than six months, apply a small amount of sun screen (SPF 30 or greater) to small areas such as the face and back of the hands.
What to look for on sunscreen labels:
- “Broad-spectrum” blocks UVB and UVA rays.
- UVA star rating system
- One star = low UVA protection
- Two stars = medium protection
- Three stars = high protection
- Four stars = the highest UVA protection available in an over-the-counter sunscreen product.
- The nose, cheeks, tops of ears and shoulders are sensitive areas. Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
- Re-apply sunscreen every one to two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Even with sunscreen, avoid intense, lengthy sun exposure. Sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.
- Each year two million Americans develop skin cancer.
- The most common skin cancers are basal cell and squamous cell cancers.
- Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer.
- Fair-skinned people are at greater risk.
- A family history of melanoma increases your risk.
- The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun and sources of UV radiation.
If you notice a change in your skin, contact your Prevea physician at (920) 496-4700 or at (888) 2PREVEA.
For more information on heat related illnesses that can be caused by prolonged sun exposure as well as other summer safety tips click here
Our partnership with the Center for Childhood Safety allows the opportunity to work closely together on injury prevention programs and keeping our children safe. For more information on this topic and resources on a variety of child safety topics, click here.