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Sun Safety for Kids

The warmth of the sun feels good and its mere presence can brighten our mood as well as our day. It provides our bodies with Vitamin D, something we are typically lacking. But the sun can also cause sunburn and skin cancer, and children’s skin is more sensitive than that of most adults. Here are some ways to protect your children from the negative effects of the sun:

Infants

Keep infants out of direct sunlight. If you are breastfeeding your baby and not using formula, your doctor may recommend a Vitamin D supplement.

UV Levels

Be aware of UV Index levels when you’re planning outdoor activities. The highest levels occur between 10am and 4pm. UV rays penetrate clouds, so you still need protection on those rare overcast days.

Sunscreen

Any areas not covered with clothing should be covered with sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Look for water-resistant brands with broad-spectrum protection (UVA and UVB rays). Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to heading outside and again every two hours.

Insect repellent reduces the protection of sunscreen. When using together, choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

Clothing

Light, loose shirts with sleeves and pants offer the best protection; however, in southern Arizona we need to balance sun protection with the risk of overheating. Whatever the temperature, have your kids wear a hat that will shade their ears and neck.

Sunglasses

Teach children to wear them when outdoors and take care of them when indoors. They should be classified as 100% UV Protection.

Water

Drink lots of it: not just when you’re outside, but also in the hours preceding outdoor activities. Good hydration prepares your body to cope with the heat.

Posted in Blog on April 14th, 2017