Summertime Sun Safety
Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy!
We keep learning more and more about the dangers of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Fortunately we are also learning more about the ways to keep our precious children’s sensitive skin protected. Here, then, are some of the most commonly-cited and easily-followed tips to avoid those serious sunburns and make those new outdoor memories the very best they can be.
Sunscreen is most effective when applied about 30 minutes before going outdoors. Remember necks, ears, noses, lips and the tops of feet. You will need to reapply at least every 2 hours, and more often following swimming or heavy sweating or toweling off. Use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. Most of the sun’s rays can come through the clouds even on an overcast day so use sun protection even then.
Whenever possible, schedule outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon in order to avoid the most harmful rays during midday. Since many outdoor activities occur throughout the day try to find a naturally occurring shade like a tree. If your activities are taking you places like the beach bring along an umbrella or pop-up tent. Water sports keep you cooler but they reflect the sun’s rays and call for extra protection.
Remember those bathing suits from the early 1900’s? Well, we aren’t suggesting anything that drastic or uncomfortable! However, there are some clothes that are made from fabrics that are certified to offer ultraviolet protection. Dry shirts in darker colors offer more protection than wet shirts in lighter colors.
Children may prefer a baseball cap but since they don’t protect their ears and neck you will need to be extra generous with the sunscreen in those areas. A wide-brimmed floppy hat will help to shield more of the upper body and they are staring to be popular.
Manufacturers are beginning to design sunglasses that are not just smaller for a child’s face but they wrap around and block close to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Among the damage that ultraviolet rays pose is cataracts later in life.
The nostalgia of great summer activities can keep you warm on the coldest winter day and last forever. If your child is called upon to speak or write about “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” let it be free from the time-out caused by sunburn recovery. By taking the necessary precautions you make it easier to . . .
Remember the Great Outdoors!