Further Reading

Sun Safety for Summer Fun!

Sun Safety for Children

by Joanna L. Olson, RPA-C

It is finally nice enough to enjoy some time outside in the sun and warm weather. But what are some key points parents need to know about to prevent sunburn and sun poisoning? Listed below are great tips, suggestions, and facts to keep the kids safe in the sun:

  • The UV rays can cause damage to the skin in as little as 15 minutes without additional measures and precautions taken.
  • Being in shade will help reduce sunburn, skin cancer, and sun poisoning. In fact, it is still recommended to use sunscreen in the shade as you can still get some UV rays.
  • Some people think if your skin is covered by clothing, sunscreen is not needed. But in reality, regular clothing only offers about 15 SPF, so sunscreen is needed underneath clothing if you are going to be outside for extended periods of time. UV protection clothing also helps.
  • Wearing a hat is useful in helping protect you from the sun, especially if the brim of the hat goes completely around the head covering the ears, neck, and face. Be careful with baseball hats as you still have to use sunscreen on aspects of the ears, neck, and face.
  • Sunglasses also help in allowing kids to have fun in the sun while protecting their eyes at the same time. The key is making sure the kids continue to use the sunglasses throughout the time they are outside.
  • Sunscreen is something every child over 6 months of age should have on when stepping outside whether there is sun or not. Even on cloudy days you can get UV rays and potentially sunburn. Infants under 6 months of age should not be in direct sun and no sunscreen should be applied to their skin. The higher the SPF, the better protection. If any child is out in the sun more than two hours, sunscreen should be reapplied. Also, if anyone is swimming or sweating and they wipe their legs, arms, face, etc., sunscreen should be applied sooner than two hours. Lastly, make sure the sunscreen’s expiration is not past due. The shelf life is usually about 3 years.

Enjoy the summer, sun, family, friends, and fun! If there are any questions regarding sunburn or time in the sun with children, please contact your pediatrician!


Reference: CDC