It’s summer and whether your family is out by the pool, playing in
the back yard or hanging out at a nearby park, one thing is for certain
— you’re taking advantage of this beautiful weather. Being
outdoors can be a lot of fun but it puts your skin at risk of being overexposed
to the sun. Here are some tips from Kayla Hefner, CVMC Child Health/Safety
Specialist, on how to play it safe this summer by blocking the sun, not the fun:
Sunscreen. Always use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
Look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label. Apply sunscreen
15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors, and reapply it every two hours.
Make sure you cover all exposed areas of skin, including the tips of the
ears, the back of the neck, and the tops of the feet. If your child goes
into the water, reapply sunscreen as soon as you towel them off—even
if it’s been less than two hours since you applied it.
Shade. Try to find places where your child can play in the shade, like under
a tree or umbrella, for example.
Hats. Whether your baby is bald or has a full head of hair, a hat is a must.
Choose a hat with flaps in the back for neck protection and a brim that’s
wide enough to shade the face. A brim that protects the ears is better
than one that protects only in the front.
Sunglasses. To protect your child’s eyes and the sensitive skin around them,
encourage your child to wear UV-protective sunglasses. Choose sunglasses
that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation, not toy models. If your baby
is willing, try a pair of UV-protective sunglasses.
Clothing. Cover your child’s arms and legs in lightweight, light-colored clothing.
When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing
that covers the body.
“Sun exposure should be limited as much as possible. Children can
quickly suffer the short and long-term damage of sunburn and heat stroke.
Sunburn causes pain, fever, and dehydration,” says Kayla. “And,
just one sunburn during childhood raises the risk of melanoma, the most
deadly type of skin cancer, as well as wrinkles later on in life.”
If you have any further questions regarding protection from the sun or
your child’s health, please make and appointment with your doctor.
Now, go have fun in the sun! Get more tips on how to keep your child safe
throughout the year by following The Health First Center Facebook page
or contact Kayla Hefner, CVMC Child Health/Safety Specialist
-firstname.lastname@example.org 828.485.2300 ext. 6204.