Sun Safety Tips

As a mom, you know that your kids love playing in the sun, but you also know the hazards that this can contain such as sunburns and heat-related sicknesses. That's why you know your kids should cover up in the sun. Here are some tips on how to keep your child sun-safe.

The Sun's Rays

Sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA rays are what cause skin to age and wrinkle, and they can also contribute to melanoma. They make up the majority of our sun exposure and cause our skin to tan. UVB rays are the rays that cause sunburn, cataracts, immune system damage, and skin cancer. Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, but enough of these rays pass through to effect us. UVC rays are the most dangerous, they are blocked by the ozone layer and don't reach us. Therefore you must protect your family from the UVA and UVB rays that cause skin damage.

Sun Protection for Your Child

With the right precautions, you and your children can have a sun-safe year, just follow some important strategies for sun safety:

  • Cover up by making sure you and your children are wearing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Hat brims should shadow the face, and shirts should always be worn. Use a parasol or umbrella to create shade.
  • Avoid the strongest sun rays of the day between 11am and 2pm, and if your child does go outside during this time, make sure they have their sun-safety gear on: sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.
  • Remember to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. You may not see them but UV rays can still cause a burn.
  • Use sunscreen consistently, and use an SPF of 15 or higher. And make sure your sunscreen contains protection for UVA and UVB rays.
  • Ask about your child's medication. Some medications can increase skin's sensitivity to the sun.

    What to Do for a Sunburn

  • Stay in the shade until the sunburn is healed.
  • Take a cool (not cold) bath, or gently apply cool, wet compresses to the skin to help reduce pain and heat.
  • Apply pure aloe vera gel to any sunburned areas. It relieves pain and helps skin heal faster.
  • Apply moisturizer rehydrate the skin and help reduce swelling. Do not use petroleum-based products, because they prevent excess heat and sweat from escaping and irritate the burn.
  • Avoid first-aid products that contain benzocaine, which can cause skin irritation or allergy.
  • Call your doctor if blisters develop.