Childhood sun protection in five easy steps
Did you know it takes only a few serious sunburns to increase your child’s risk of skin cancer as an adult? That’s why it’s important to protect your children’s delicate skin whenever they’re outdoors.
Pay special attention to your child’s eyes, lips and ears. When it comes to sun protection, these parts of the body are sometimes overlooked. But over-exposure to harmful UV radiation can lead to cataracts in the eyes and skin cancer on the lips and ears.
Follow these simple tips from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to teach your children healthy skin care habits.
Seek shade. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it's best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent. Use these options to prevent sunburn, not to seek relief after it's happened.
Cover up. Clothing that covers your child's skin helps protect against UV rays. Although a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best, they aren't always practical. A T-shirt, long shorts, or a beach cover-up are good choices, too—but it's wise to double up on protection by applying sunscreen or keeping your child in the shade when possible.
Get a hat. Hats that shade the face, scalp, ears, and neck are easy to use and give great protection. Baseball caps are popular among kids, but they don't protect their ears and neck. If your child chooses a cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
Wear sunglasses. They protect your child's eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
Apply sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.
Information from the CDC website