Most exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays happens before age 18. This is why experts strongly recommend that UV protection for children, toddlers and infants is at the same level, or higher, of protection for adults.
Protect a child’s skin from the sun every day, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children less than one year of age should never be exposed to intense, direct sunlight, as they are especially sensitive to UV radiation and heat. Here are some helpful tips for UV protection:
- Try to ensure that children’s preschool or school schedules keep them indoors as much as possible during peak hours.
- Schedule sports and other outdoor activities early in the morning, late in the afternoon or in the evening. It is important not to reduce your child’s overall exercise in doing so, however.
- Don’t overlook natural shade. Look for play areas in shady spots.
- Keep children covered with clothing that provides protection from the sun. Closely woven materials, long-sleeved shirts and pants are best. Broad-brimmed hats are also recommended, but avoid caps that do not shade the ears or the back of the neck.
- Remember to protect children on cloudy days. Most damaging UV rays penetrate light cloud cover and haze.
- When out in the sun for any length of time, children should use a sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or more with UVA protection.
- For best results, sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before exposure to the sun, so it is absorbed by the skin and less likely to rub or wash off. Reapply every couple hours.
- For children wearing bathing suits, make sure that sunscreen is applied up to and under the edges of the suit to protect sensitive areas like the upper thighs and chest. Pay particular attention to the tops of feet and the backs of the knees.
- Note that sunscreens become less effective over time. Check expiration dates before using old sunscreen and replace if outdated.
The same UV rays that harm the skin can also cause injury to the eyes. Most brands are effective at screening or reflecting at least some UV light. When picking the right pair for your child, look for lenses providing a minimum of 90% protection from UVA and 95% protection from UVB light.
Looking for summer child care? We have part-time nannies to help with camp pickup and drop-off or after-camp care, or full-time nannies to keep the kids active and having fun while you are at work. Or if you’re traveling this summer and want an extra hand, bring a nanny along! Contact us at (518) 348-0400 and let us know how we can help.
© 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.