Make Sunscreen Part of Your Outdoor Gear
Summer is almost here! We can’t wait to be outside enjoying the beautiful warm weather! We need to protect ourselves and our children from overexposure to the sun and its harmful rays.
Your best defenses against getting too much harmful UV radiation are protective clothing, shade and limited time in the sun:
- Hats, shirts, shorts and pants provide the best protection from UV rays
- Picnic under a tree, umbrella or canopy
- Go outdoors early in the morning or late afternoon. UV radiation peaks at midday
- Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation that causes cataracts
- Wear sunscreen
Suncreen is a must whether your child is in your backyard or at the beach. Try to get your child into the habit of applying sunscreen daily. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside.
When shopping for a sunscreen, here are a few things to look for:
- An SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 to 50. FYI: SPF 15 blocks approx. 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks approx. 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks approx. 98% of UBV rays. Nothing blocks 100%!
- Broad spectrum protection that screens out both UVA and UVB rays. FYI: UVB rays cause sunburn while UVA rays are the cause of deeper skin damage.
- Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling off or sweating.
- Avoid suncreen with Vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate or retinol.
- Avoid oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin.
- A hypoallergenic formula- You should test your chosen sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist several days before you plan to use it. If an irritation or rash develops, try another product.
Apply sunscreen liberally to all body parts; pay special attention to coat temples, ears, back of the neck and the tops of your feet.
Be safe as you and your family enjoy your fun in the sun!