Protecting Your Kids from the Sun

photo credit: noir

It’s summer vacation, which means your children are running carefree around the neighborhood and enjoying their time outdoors. Whether it is at the pool or day camp, they are going to be out in the sun substantially longer than they would during the school day. As a parent it is important to be aware of the power of the sun and the harmful effects it can have on your family. The sun emits ultraviolet radiation (UV), which is a form of the sun’s energy that is not visible to the eye. Although sunlight is necessary for our Vitamin D levels—which is important for strong bones—overexposure to the sun can lead to several negative consequences, including sunburn and skin cancer. This means we have a duty to protect our children at such a young age.

Does this mean you should keep your son or daughter crammed indoors all summer? Absolutely not! Being aware of the impact the sun can have on your children is the first step in ensuring a lifetime of healthy, beautiful skin. Most importantly, before your children head outside, you should check theUV Index. The EPA and National Weather Service developed the UV Index to inform people of how strong the sun is at a particular time. It is based on a scale of 1-11, with 1 being a very low UV Index and 11 meaning the sun’s rays are the most severe. If you know the proper information about sun strength in your area, you will be able to use the best judgment on which sun-safe actions to take for your kids.

The most important tip for protecting little ones from the sun is to make sure that they are wearing a SPF of 15 or higher. If your son or daughter is going to be outdoors for a long time or in the water, make sure to re-apply frequently. It’s also important that kids wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect their eyes. According to The Sun Authority, most UV damage to the eyes occurs before a child turns 18. Polarized sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays will help keep your children’s eyes safe. On days when the UV Index is high, wearing a wide-brimmed hat will provide an extra layer of protection to the face, scalp, and neck.

Being aware and cautious of the sun’s power will help keep your families safe during the summer season. Knowing the UV Index and protecting their skin accordingly will help ensure healthy skin and a healthy future!

Bio: A recent college graduate, Adam Bruk enjoys researching sun safety tips and trends in sunglasses and making time to enjoy the great outdoors!

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  1. One of the things I like to do to avoid sun burns is to use those rash guard t shirts. Also you should put on sunscreen even when it’s foggy. I live on the coast and some of the worst burns i’ve seen are on foggy days because it kind of sneaks up on you because it’s so cold.

  2. I hate it when I get burnt. And I spend 2 months a year on a boat! You should see me all covered like a woman from the desert :) And using sunscreen not lower that 30SPF.

  3. My father died of Melanoma, and at 30 I was diagnosed with Basal Cell of the eye lid, and have had more precancerous lesions removed over the last 10 years….Teaching children proper sun habits, and proper use of sunscreen is vital!