Summertime for kids often means playing outside, which is a great way to get those little ones active after a long winter. With the warm weather, there’s bound to be plenty of sunshine. Though we get sun exposure all year long, summer is the most important time to think about our children’s outdoor safety as the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has the greatest intensity.
Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on sun safety:
For babies younger than 6 months:
- Keep them in a shaded area and dress them in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat to prevent sunburn.
- When adequate shade and clothing aren’t available, apply a small amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to a small area such as the baby’s face. Avoid getting sunscreen too close to the eyes.
For children older than 6 months:
- The best line of defense against the sun’s harmful UVR is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim, sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, and clothing with a tight weave.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible, and limit your child’s sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, which is when the sun is most intense.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater on both sunny and cloudy days. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen—a young adult needs at least one ounce per application.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily.
- Use extra caution near water and sand because they reflect the sun’s UV rays and may cause sunburn more quickly.
Remember these simple tips when having fun in the sun with your family. We wish you and your kids plenty of memories playing in the park, riding bikes and spending the day at the pool this summer!