Summer days are filled with the sound of sweet laughter, the smell of freshly squeezed lemonade and the feeling of warm sunshine on your face. Summer is the perfect time to create family memories that your children will remember for years to come. During the spring and summer months, children will have more opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
It’s important to remember to protect your child’s skin by using sunblock, and it is recommended to use sunblock for children 6 months and older. If your baby is less than 6 months and you want them to enjoy outdoor exploration, it is important to keep them out of direct sunlight and use a sunhat and other clothing that will protect their sensitive skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply the sunscreen generously, 30 minutes before sun exposure, and be certain to reapply every two hours. You may need to apply more frequently if your child is spending time enjoying water play or perspiring.
The UVB rays are most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Consider planning your summer activities around this time-frame to ensure your child is kept safe from prolonged sun exposure. Remember to ensure your child has a lot of water to drink during outdoor play.
It is also important to remember to protect your baby’s beautiful eyes. The skin around the eyes is vulnerable to UV damage too, so children should wear sunglasses starting at 6 months. Look for child-size sunglasses that offer at least 99 percent UVA and UVB protection, cover as much skin as possible (wraparound styles are great), and are impact- or shatter-resistant (mayo clinic by Jeannette Moninger).
Playing outside brings many new adventures and exploration opportunities for you and your family. Children enjoy discovering the world around them and enjoying the sunshine. Please remember to protect your skin too so you can continue to enjoy creating memories with your family.