One of the great things about living in Jacksonville is the proximity to the water and sunshine. As the summer months draw closer, families want to spend more time outdoors. But parents should take steps to protect their children’s delicate skin from the sun’s rays by wearing protective clothing and putting on sunscreen. Here are some tips for a healthy, happy summer season.
1. Avoid Midday Sun
The risk of sun exposure is greatest during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. If they can, parents should plan family outings for the morning, late afternoon or evening, when there’s less risk from the sun’s rays. If it’s not possible to structure days this way, they should seek out areas of shade to hide out during these prime hours of sun.
2. Cover Up
The best way to protect children from the sun is to completely block sunshine. Clothing can offer full coverage, as long as it’s darkly colored and its fibers are tightly woven. As a general rule, if a person can see through the clothing, the sun can also penetrate. In general, a white t-shirt won’t provide adequate protection.
Kids should also wear a hat and sunglasses in order to shield themselves from the sun. Parents can make the process fun by taking them shopping for accessories they like and will wear to the beach or even just when hanging out in the backyard.
3. Choose the Right Sunscreen
Parents should put a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 on their kids. It should be labeled “broad spectrum,” blocking both UVA and UVB rays. It’s always a good idea to apply about 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and to reapply about every two hours or after the little one has gone swimming or is sweating.
Babies under the age of six months should be covered up with clothing instead of sunscreens, as the chemicals can be harmful. For older kids, ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide can provide protection with less irritation, because they don’t tend to absorb into the skin. A pediatrician can give more information.
As the summer months are on their way, it’s a great time to be joyful and enjoy time with family. Parents can take steps to protect their children’s skin with the right sunscreen and clothing that let them play and not worry about a burn.