Your Kids and the Sun: How to Protect Sensitive Young Skin
School’s out for the summer, which means your kids are probably chomping at the bit to get outside. But as a parent, it’s your job to protect them from sun damage. Here’s what you can do.
Plan Indoor Activities During the Afternoon
The sun’s rays are typically strongest between the hours of 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If you want a simple solution to protect your kids from sun damaged skin this season, consider planning activities that take place indoors during the hottest parts of the afternoon. Maybe the morning is spent outside playing, but lunch and the few hours afterward are filled with indoor activities. Something as simple as a movie after eating lunch can keep kids occupied and indoors for a little while.
Seek Out Shady Areas
If you can’t make it home in the afternoon or your kids refuse to come inside, the simplest thing you can do to avoid sun damage is seek out a shady spot. You could even make a picnic out of it if you’re not planning on going back to the house for a little while. A big, shady tree is an excellent option if you can’t find a pavilion or tent to sit under. And if you’re on the beach for the day, make sure you pack a big umbrella or two to set up. Shade is definitely your friend when you want to protect your kids from the sun!
Apply Sunscreen Regularly
Sunscreen is an absolute must if your kids are going to be spending any time at all outside in the sun. For optimal sun protection, make sure you’re using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. For especially sun-sensitive skin, use a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating. In addition, you should make sure the sunscreen of your choice is water resistant. This will help ensure it doesn’t run off when your kids sweat or go in the water. If you’re going to be outside for a while, make sure you’re reapplying sunscreen every two hours to avoid sunburn, as well.
Invest in Protective Clothing
This is another simple solution that can help you protect your kids from sun damaged skin. While long sleeves and pants are optimal, it’s not always possible to wear a long sleeved shirt in the middle of the summer. If you really want longer sleeves, consider investing in lightweight, breathable button-down shirts that can easily be removed. Emphasis on lightweight and breathable! If you thought sunburn was the worst kind of skin rash, you’ve never dealt with heat rash on your kids’ skin.
Hats Are an Excellent Addition
Hats are one of the best ways to ensure that your kids don’t get sun damage on their scalps. A baseball cap might be easiest, but it won’t protect the skin on your kids’ necks. If you can, invest in a few wide-brimmed sun hats for your kids to wear during the summer months. Not only are they in style, but they also protect the skin on the face, neck, and shoulders.
Getting outside is important for your kids! But it’s equally important to make sure their skin is safe from sun damage. If you have questions about how you can best protect your kids from sun damage this season or skin care for sun damaged skin, contact us to set up an appointment at SE Dermatology Specialists today.