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Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Importance of Sunscreen for Children

Whether it’s a cloudy, overcast day or its sunny and bright outside, winter, spring, summer, and fall, your child needs the protection of sunscreen when playing outdoors. UV rays from the sun are strongest and most harmful between 11 AM and 3 PM so it is important that your child be protected to prevent skin problems in the future. The best solution is to have your child spend as much time in the shade. If that isn’t possible, make sure that the clothes she wears covers her skin (dry clothing offers much more protection than wet). Provide a wide-brimmed hat to protect ears, nose, cheeks, and neck and encourage your child to wear sunglasses to protect against UVB rays.

Always apply sunscreen that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. The sunscreen you purchase should be at least SPF 15 if not higher. For best results:
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before your child goes outside
  • Apply sunscreen every time your child gets wet, whether from swimming, showering, or perspiring due to exercise: Moisture makes the sunscreen less effective
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen to forehead, nose, cheeks, lips, and chin
Which sunscreen should you purchase? You may need to try different brands to find the gentlest formula for your child but make sure it’s free of PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). If your child doesn’t like the liquid or mist type sunscreen because it runs into her eyes when she perspires, try the stick type sunscreen for better adhesion.

The importance of getting your child into the habit of using sunscreen now can last throughout her life while helping her prevent skin cancer as well as other dermatological issues.

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