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  Make It A Safe Summer – Sun Safety
July 16, 2008

Every summer, kids spend more time playing outside in the sun. This means they are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays are strong and penetrate atmospheric haze, thin clouds, and fog. Excessive exposure to UV rays over time, regardless of skin type, can lead to sagging and wrinkling of the skin, premature age spots, and skin cancer. Short term overexposure to UV rays, without proper protection, can lead to severe sunburn or sun poisoning.

Children are more sensitive to UV rays because of their thin, delicate skin. It is important to take precaution before venturing out into the sun to prevent short-term and long-term health complications. Playground equipment and play surfaces can heat up from sun exposure and can cause surface burns to children, who have thinner and more delicate skin than adults.


Sun Protection for Infants and Children


Age Range Precautions
Children 0 to 6 months old
  • Do not go in any sunlight
  • Do not wear sunscreen
Children 6 to 12 months old
  • Do not go in direct sunlight
  • Stay away from hot surfaces like playground equipment and areas hands and knees may burn if crawling
Children 12 to 24 months old
  • Use PABA-free sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
  • Wear shoes on all playground surfaces
All children
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, even with sunscreen
  • Always wear a hat
  • Be alert of long-term risks

* Ask your physician if extra care is needed for sun exposure if your child is taking an antibiotic, anti-seizure, or acne medication.


Resources:
American Burn Association – Burn Prevention Committee
Safe Kids Worldwide
Lexi-Comp Inc., 2006