Sun Safety

Injury Prevention Sun SafetyAlthough the sun feels good, its ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sunburn whenever you're out in the sun too long. Even with gradual exposure, tanning may be the skin’s response to sun damage and is not necessarily healthier. UV rays can cause serious diseases, such as skin cancer and damage to eyes.

Use the following tips to help protect children from the sun.

Safety Tips

  • It’s ideal to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – midday is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Keep infants under six months in the shade. Babies and young children have thinner skin than adults.
  • Dress children in loose, dry, lightweight, light-colored, cotton clothing.
  • Have a child wear a hat and sunglasses with UV protection to protect the eyes.
  • Use waterproof sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. First, test a small area on the child to see if the sunscreen will cause a rash. Then put the lotion on any exposed areas of the body except for the upper eyelids. Don’t forget the tops of the ears.
  • Know that children with light hair, light eyes and fair skin will sunburn more quickly and should use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Be sure to use sunscreen on cloudy days, in the shade and in winter, too. UV rays can penetrate through clouds and hazy skies, and they can reflect off the ground—off sand, concrete, snow and more. So don’t be unprotected.
  • Know that the sun’s rays are stronger when you’re in or near the water because the rays reflect off the water.
  • Offer plenty of water to children, even if they’re not thirsty.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion: dizziness, nausea, weakness, headache or stomach cramps. Remove a child from the sun if he is experiencing any of these symptoms. Provide rest and plenty of fluids.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors - it needs to work on the skin.
  • Make sure to rub sunscreen in well and that it covers all areas exposed to the sun - even the back of knees and ears.
  • For an infant who gets sunburn, make sure to apply cool compresses to the affected area.
  • If your child gets sunburn resulting in pain, blistering or fever, then contact your pediatrician.