Tips to protect your family from the sun in summer

Tips to protect your family from the sun

What are the tips to protect our family from the effects of the summer sun?

With summer temperatures rising, children and teenagers are more exposed to the sun as they engage in more outdoor activities.

This is why sun protection is the key to keeping your child safe during the summer by minimizing sun exposure and using sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).

It’s important to remember that your child’s skin is more vulnerable than yours to sun damage.

If you follow these sun protection recommendations, you will help protect your child from sunburn and other skin damage:

Use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends using a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15.

Broad spectrum means it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Even in the Florida sun, properly applied SPF 30 sunscreen is more than enough.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to give it time to absorb into the skin.

Don’t forget to protect your ears, lips, feet, neck and head.

Limit time in the sun

It is ideal for children to stay in the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.

Try to schedule their outdoor activities in the morning or evening to avoid the worst of the sun’s rays, and make sure they take frequent breaks, which gives them a chance to reapply sunscreen.

Use extra protection for babies younger than 6 months

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends protective clothing that covers arms and legs, wide-brimmed hats and staying in the shade.

If adequate clothing and shade are not available, use a minimal amount of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on small areas, such as the face and back of the hands.

To treat sunburn in infants, use cool compresses on affected areas.

Stay hydrated:

If your children are playing in the water, you may not think dehydration is a problem, but it can be, especially if you’re at the beach.

Enforce frequent hydration breaks for your children to drink water, sip water ice cream or enjoy watery fruits. Be aware that sunburn can cause dehydration.

Dress yourself and your children in protective clothing:

There is a wide range of swimwear on the market that has built-in UVA protection.

Sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats are also recommended. Look for glasses that provide 97 to 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB light.

If your child gets sunburned, here are some of the best ways to take care of the skin:

  • Know the symptoms. These vary depending on the severity of the burn: redness, hot skin, blisters, chills, fever, headache and dehydration (dry mouth, lack of urination, loss of skin elasticity).
  • Cool him or her down. Have your child soak in a cold water bath or place cold (not ice) compresses on the affected areas.
  • Insulate from the sun. Do not let your child play in direct sunlight until the burn has healed.
  • If there are blisters, do not pop them. This exposes the tissues under the skin and can lead to infection.

Remember that your children learn from good example. Practice sun protection yourself and teach everyone in your family how to protect themselves from the sun’s rays.

Call your health care provider for advice or visit our table and learn about our Sun Protection van tour, where you will find more information to prevent skin cancer.

I invite you to subscribe to the My Health Fair Newsletter list to receive your monthly dose of information and LIVE Streams from health organizations and influencers.