With summer on the way, it’s a great time for kids to get outdoors and get active. FPG Pediatrician Dr. Deirdra Myers has some advice for keeping kids safe in the sun:
We encourage outdoor activities for kids when possible, but sun exposure and sunburning are known skin cancer risks, so it is important to avoid them. We should set a good example and establish lifelong preventative habits with our children. Here are a few tips for sun safety when having fun outdoors.
- Dress infants and children in cool, lightweight and sun protective clothing. Also, use wide brim hats or seek shaded areas whenever possible.
- Infants, younger than 6 months of age, should be kept out of direct sunlight and covered with appropriate protective clothing when possible.
- Wear sunglasses
- Keep infants and children well hydrated.
- Plan your activities to avoid or limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest
- Apply sunscreen; do not forget that water, sand and snow can reflect the sun’s rays.
- Sunscreens can be used for infants and children older than 6 months of age.
- It is appropriate to use sunscreens that are labeled as “broad-spectrum”. This means they screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
- Sunscreens with Sun protection factor (SPF) of 15-30 or higher may be used to protect exposed skin. The higher the SPF the greater the protection. However, there is no clear benefit of SPF greater than 50.
- Apply sunscreens on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Remember to include applying to ears, neck, tops of feet, and backs of hands
- It is ideal to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
- Look for sunscreens that are fragrance free and use ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these tend to be less irritating; apply sunscreen on intact skin.
Board-certified pediatrician Deirdra Myers, MD serves patients and families at the First Physicians Group Pediatrics office in Lakewood Ranch. Dr. Myers is currently accepting new patients. Please call 941-366-3000 for more information.