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Summer Safety Tips: Sunscreen

06-02-2017

Summer Safety Tips: Sunscreen

These warmer temperatures have us all amped up for another beautiful Montana summer and while we want you to enjoy your time outdoors with your family, it’s important to remember a few key tips to keep everyone safe this summer.

Infants 6 months and younger:

In order to prevent sunburns in infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants 6 months and younger avoid sun exposure by keeping them out of direct sunlight and in shaded areas: trees, umbrellas or stroller canopies are great for providing shade. Also, be sure to dress your infant in lightweight long pants, long- sleeved shirts and brimmed hats that provide shade to the neck, this will help keep your infant’s skin protected from the sun as well as keep them cool in the summer heat. If avoiding sun exposure is not possible you may apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to small areas such as the face and/or back of hands.

Children 6 months and older:

In older children, it is still recommended by the AAP to prevent sun exposure as best as possible. Staying in shaded areas and covering up during the peak intensity hours between 10am-4pm is ideal. Make sure children are dressed in cool comfortable clothing; clothes with a tight weave that cover the entire body provides the best protection. Have children wear a hat to shield the neck, face, and ears as well as sunglasses that have 99% UV protection. Sunscreen is vital in preventing sunburns during the hot summer months but keep in mind that sunscreen should not be used as a reason to stay in the sun and heat for longer periods of time.

When using sunscreen remember these things for all ages:

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA rays; make sure it has an SPF of at least 15 (up to 50).

Make sure to use enough sunscreen for your child- about one ounce per application for a young adult. Apply generously to sensitive areas such as the face, nose, ears, feet, hands and back of knees and make sure to rub it all in.

Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and after swimming, sweating or drying off with a towel.

Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors (even on cloudy days) to allow time to absorb into the skin.

Remember to use extra caution near water, sand, and snow as all of these things reflect UV rays and can cause severe sunburn much more quickly.

Chelsey Kirby, RN

References:

Sun Safety: Information for Parents about Sunburn & Sunscreen. (2014, April 1). Retrieved May 31, 2017, from https://healthychildren.org/english/safety-pervention/at-play/pages/sun-safety.aspx

Summer Safety Tips: Sun and Water Safety. (2017, May 4). Retrieved May 31, 217, from https://healthychildren.org/english/news/pages/summer-safety-tips-and-water-safety.aspx