Sun Safety

Playing outdoors in the sun after the long winter is really fun for children and adults but it should be done safely. Here is a list of some of the most important ways to protect you and your children from harmful UV rays which are strongest from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Babies younger than 6 months should not be in direct sunlight. Be aware that an umbrella or canopy may only reduce UVR exposure by 50%. Dress the baby in skin covering lightweight cotton clothing even when shaded. It is okay to apply sunscreen to the small areas of skin not covered by clothing like the face (avoid the eyes), neck and ears, and the backs of hands and feet if your baby has any sun exposure.

The correct way to apply sun screen is 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Use enough to cover all exposed areas and rub it in well. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which means it has both UVA and UVB protection of at least 15 SPF.  15 to 30 SPF is fine for almost everyone, including babies. Repeat the sunscreen as needed especially after swimming or sweating and about every two hours.

There are many clothing options that can protect the skin and you can look for clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF).  Or your child can be dressed in lightweight cotton clothing that covers the skin. Whenever possible everyone should wear sunglasses with 99% UV protection.

Children can wear a hat with a 3 inch brim all around the rim to protect the face and neck.

Remember that even on a hazy or foggy day you and your children need protection especially at high altitudes or when you are on the sand or in the water.