School's out for summer and your kids are finally ready to spend some time outside. But are you prepared to protect them from sun damage? Here are a few tips to help you out.
Ultraviolet radiation is strongest during the afternoon. More specifically, it's strongest between around 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If you can help it, try to plan indoor activities around lunch time for your kids. Staying inside during the hottest times of the day when the sun's rays are most intense is one of the best ways to help your kids avoid sun damage. It's much better to prevent it than to administer skin care for sun damage later on. Nobody likes a sunburn, after all! So when possible, try to plan pre- and post-lunch activities, as well as lunch itself, indoors.
When you can't convince your kids to come inside or you're far away from home, one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your kids are protected from sun damage is seek out a shady spot to spend time in. If you're planning a beach day, bring a big umbrella. Playing at the park? Find a shady tree to eat lunch under. Seeking out shade can help you prevent sunburn before it happens.
Sunscreen is your best bet for avoiding sun damaged skin this season. Under normal circumstances, you should use a sunscreen that has at least SPF 15 as well as broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. If you're particularly concerned or your kids have sensitive skin, you may want to apply sunscreen with a higher SPF factor. In addition, make sure you're not only applying sunscreen before your kids head out for the day. Instead, make it a habit to reapply sunscreen every two hours or so if you're spending an extended period of time outside with your kids.
Unless your kids are swimming, it's important to invest in sun protection in the form of clothing. Longer sleeves and pants are preferable if it's not too hot out. But make sure you're investing in light, breathable clothing! The last thing you want on top of sun damage is a heat rash. Sunburn might seem like the worst kind of skin rash until your kids get heat rash because their clothes are too irritating. Loose, cotton shirts are a good option! In addition, make sure your kids' clothing stays dry. A dry shirt offers much more sun protection than a wet one!
Hats are not only a hot fashion item, but they can also help protect your kids from sun damage on their scalps. And if you invest in a wide-brimmed sun hat for your kids, you'll be helping protect their face, neck, and shoulders, as well. Bucket hats are also a good option to consider if your kids want a summer hat to wear.
Protecting your kids' skin from the sun this season is important. If you have questions about the sun protection routine you're using for your kids, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology to set up an appointment today.