As summer break approaches in North Carolina, it's important to remember the importance of sun safety, especially for children. Sunburns and prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful rays can lead to skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer. Kids First Pediatrics wants to emphasize the importance of sun safety and provide some tips to help families enjoy the outdoors while protecting their skin.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants under 6 months of age avoid sun exposure altogether, as their skin is particularly delicate and susceptible to damage. For older children, it's important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and to reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating. In addition to sunscreen, it's also recommended that children wear protective clothing, such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and sunglasses, when spending time outdoors.
It's important to note that while sunscreen is an important tool in protecting skin from the sun's harmful rays, it's not a substitute for other sun protection measures. Seeking shade during peak sun hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm, can also help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Additionally, it's important to help your kids stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially when spending time outdoors in the heat.
We also want to emphasize the importance of setting a good example for children when it comes to sun safety. Parents and caregivers should make sure to practice safe sun habits themselves and encourage children to do the same. Instilling good sun safety habits early on makes children more likely to continue these practices throughout their lives.
In addition to taking steps to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays, it's important to be aware of the signs of sunburn and heat-related illnesses. Symptoms of sunburn include redness, pain, and blisters, while symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If you or your child experiences any of these symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention right away.
In conclusion, sun safety is an important aspect of staying healthy and protecting skin from damage. By taking steps to protect their skin from the sun, such as using sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing, families can safely enjoy the outdoors. Have questions about how to protect your family this summer? Concerned about potential skin cancer? Give the team at Kids First Pediatrics a call: Raleigh, 919-250-3478 or Clayton, 919-267-1499
Article Source: Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen, Healthychildren.org