Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery & Laser Surgery

How To Protect Your Kids From The Sun This Summer

My daughter in her typical outdoor attire

The temperature is heating up, and your kids are spending more time outdoors. They’re sweating; they’re swimming. They need extra sun protection—and so do you!

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest during the summer, and unprotected skin can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes. While applying a SPF (sun protection factor) 30 sunscreen is important throughout the year, taking extra sun-safety precautions during the summer is especially important.

Don’t pull a Tanning Mom on us. Try these tips on your next family trip to the beach, pool, playground, ballpark or amusement/water park.

1.  Sunscreen- Kids who are sweating or swimming need to reapply sunscreen more often. Remember that water, snow and sand can reflect UV rays and increase your child’s sun exposure and chance of getting a sunburn. A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 protects the skin from the sun. Apply one ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a ping pong ball) to all sun-exposed areas of the body. Don’t forget the ears, feet and behind the neck. Because sunscreen can take up to 30 minutes to go into full effect, it’s a good idea to apply it at home before you drive to the pool or beach.

2.  Lips and Eyes- Choosing the right sunglasses, hat and lip balm also can provide added UV protection for parents and kids. Apply a lip balm that offers SPF protection and reapply throughout the day. Choose wrap-around sunglasses that absorb at least 99% of UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes. Choose a hat with a wide brim to give as much sun protection as possible.

3.  Wear sun-protective clothing- While most people usually know to use sunscreen and sunglasses, few are aware of the availability of sun-protective clothing. Many companies offer a variety of sun-protective clothing with as much as ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50. UPF indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric in clothing. For example, a shirt with UPF 30 means that just 1/30th of the sun’s UV radiation can reach the skin.

4.   Find or make shade- It’s always a good idea to have a place where you and your family can find shade from the sun. Plan ahead. Seeking shade is especially important between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest. When outdoors choose parks with a covering over playgrounds, cary a large umbrella to the beach, put a tent up if you have space, or choose seating areas near trees.

5.  Make a travel size sun-safety kit- Summer time often leads to spontaneous plans. You never know what the day has in store. At the beginning of the summer, create a travel size kit with all the items you need to keep your family sun safe. Don’t leave home without it! Here are some basic, portable items to put in your kit:

  • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Lip balm with SPF 15 or higher
  • Hat with a brim or cap
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Sunglasses with UV protection

Summer is a gorgeous time of year, especially here in Southern California. We’re not asking you to become a hermit when it comes to summer time. Practicing these Sun safety tips will keep your family happy and healthy. Who likes dealing with a painful sunburn anyways?

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