Burns during childhood can dramatically increase your child’s risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. For this reason, it is never too early to take steps to reduce your child’s sun exposure to cut his or her cancer risk . Here are some ways you can keep your child safe from the dangers of excessive sun exposure.
Stay out of peak sunshine
Playing outside is healthy for kids, but doing so when the sun is at its strongest could lead to burns. Typically, the sun’s UV rays are most intense between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, so consider doing indoor activities during those hours.
If you are outside with your child during these periods of peak sun exposure, try to avoid being in direct sunlight. Stay under the shade of a tree or umbrella to reduce the amount of sun your child receives.
Commit to sunscreen
The whole family can benefit from wearing sunscreen whenever they are going to be outdoors. For your child, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Your pediatrician can recommend kid-friendly brands that are good for young skin that may be sensitive.
Sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes before your kids go outside. Use it liberally, and don’t forget the ears, tops of feet and lips.
Dress for the part
How you dress your child for the sun makes a big difference in exposure. Although hot temperatures can mean short sleeves and shorts, wearing tight-knit fabrics with long sleeves and pants offers the most protection. Dark colors can also reduce sun exposure.
Choose a hat for your child with a wide brim that protects his or her face, ears and neck. Your little one should also wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
Your Sunrise Children’s Hospital pediatrics specialist in Las Vegas can help you make healthy choices for your child and offer preventive care as an investment in your child’s lifelong good health. You can get a referral 24 hours a day by calling (702) 233-5437.