Sun Protection Tips for Children

sun with rays extending out
Watch out for sunburns

Summer is around the corner, and with it, comes all things we love best: long days, beautiful weather, and a healthy dose of sun! But in all the excitement, it is important to remember that more sun means putting a little extra care into protecting your child’s skin. Here are a couple of easy tips to do just that:

Avoid too much sun exposure:
The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When possible, schedule outdoor activities outside of these hours. Try an early morning walk to listen for birds or a late afternoon bike ride with your family.

For babies under 6 months, there is no right amount of time to be out in direct sunlight. When outdoors, make sure your infant is always shaded from the sun, even if it is just by using the canopy of their stroller.

Choose the right clothing:
While shorts and T-shirts are the classic summer attire, long-sleeved options can help prevent sunburns and overall sun exposure. Try to select fabrics that are lightweight such as cotton to keep your child cool.

Opt for clothing with a tight weave, as looser-woven clothing is less protective from the sun. To check the weave of a garment, hold it up to the light. The less light that shines though, the tighter the weave.

Never be shy to accessorize with sunglasses and a hat – specifically one with a three-inch brim on all sides – to help protect your child’s eyes, face, ears and neck from the sun.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen:
While we all know how important it is to apply sunscreen, most of us do not apply nearly as much – or as often - as we should. Choose a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside so that it has time to soak into your child’s skin. Be sure to apply it to all exposed areas.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours – or even sooner if you are out swimming or doing activities that cause you to sweat.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!