Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Sun Protection

With high temperatures this past week and summer just around the corner, it's that time again to think about a little sun safety.

As you enjoy the sunshine, remember that it's important to cover all angles when protecting your children from the sun. It's estimated that your child will get more than half of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, and using sun protection can decrease your child's risk of getting skin-cancer later in life.

I've done some research on this subject and learned that the sun has two types of ultraviolet rays that can cause damage to the skin. These rays are UVA and UVB and both can be damaging and cancer causing.

A sunscreen's SPF (sun protection factor) is a measurement of how well it protects against sunburn. If you slather on an SPF 30 product, you should be able to stay in the sun for 30 times longer without burning than if your skin were bare. However, SPF only measures how well a sunscreen blocks UVB. There are no numbers that measure protection against UVA.

Apply sunscreen to your child everyday so that it becomes part of their morning routine. Don’t forget places like their hands, feet, ears, scalp, and the back of their neck. Get your children used to putting on lip balm with SPF as well.

Because sunscreen is only one aspect of sun protection and does not protect against UVA rays, parents need to take other precautions.

Staying out of the sun when it's at its strongest is crucial. This is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. While outdoors, seek shaded areas with your children if possible. Consider bringing a sun shade if you are going someplace where shade is minimal.

Protective clothing is another important part of sun protection. Putting on a wide brimmed hat can help protect your child’s scalp, ears, eyes, face and neck. Consider looking for clothing that has an ultraviolet-protection factor or UPF. Be sure that sunglasses also say that they filter out the sun’s harmful rays.

Protected Kids = Happy Kids
 


Most importantly, be a good role model. Put on sunscreen with your children and make it fun to play in the shade. Want the little ones to keep their hats on? Wear yours as well. Make sun protection a priority for the whole family!

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