The scorching heat continues! Before you and your kiddos head out, don’t forget these safety basics to protect yourselves from the sun:
• Use sunscreen with a SPF level of at least 30. Sunscreen not only protects against sun damage but also against wind damage by acting as a shield against irritants.
• No tanning oils or salons. Tanning increases the risk of melanoma and accelerates skin aging.
• Apply sunscreen every two hours to make sure you’re protected. Make sure your kids reapply if they have been sweating or swimming.
• Remember the sun is everywhere, protect your entire body, even your hands, nose and ears.
• Try to limit your time in the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Make sure your family drinks plenty of water throughout the day.
• Should a sunburn occur, remove your child from the sun right away. Give him extra fluids for the next two to three days. Use moisturizing creams or aloe gel to provide comfort. When going outside, all sunburned areas should be fully covered to protect your child from the sun until healed. Seek emergency help if the sunburn forms blisters, or your child is in extreme pain, has a headache, fever or chills, after getting sunburned.
In recognition of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, check out these helpful tips for your teens from our guest blogger, Angela Bishop. This make-up connoisseur and mommy of two, usually shares her beauty tips and tricks on her blogs, Beauty Store Dropout and Nine More Months.
With summer around the corner, many people are getting their skin “ready” for the season. It doesn’t hurt to spend small amounts of time in the sun, however more than 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure can be very bad. The number one danger of too much sun exposure is increased risk for melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer. Many people believe that a tanning bed is safer than going out in the sun, but the truth is that it can actually be worse.
Luckily, there are safer alternatives:
Spray tanning – Gives you almost immediate results, though only temporary. There are many different shades to choose from, so this works well for everyone. Read reviews and ask around to find the best tanning salon in your area.
Tanning lotion – Easy at-home way to get color, but can be tricky to apply. Most lotions are one shade only, so test a small spot on your skin before trying. For the best possible results, always exfoliate beforehand, and be sure to wash your hands well after applying.
Gradual tanner – Takes a few days to show, but as long as you regularly apply it you’ll continue to have a tan. Choose one with an SPF protection in it, and make it part of your daily routine.
Mineral bronzing powder – Instant gratification, can be adjusted to desired shade, and easily removable. One with shimmer will reflect light to give you a nice glow. Just like putting on makeup, make sure to highlight areas that are naturally touched by the sun, such as the top of your arms, shoulders, legs, and chest.
Tinted moisturizer – You may be familiar with this as a face product, but check your favorite beauty store and you may be surprised to find a tinted body lotion. Many of these are available with a shimmer as well, which will give you similar results to bronzing powder with the added benefit of moisturizing your skin.
Pale and pastel-colored clothing, such as light pinks, blues, or yellows. Try on different things to see what looks best with your skin tone. White is a good option as well, but if you have very fair skin, it can have the opposite effect, so be careful.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to always wear sunscreen if you plan on being outside for more than 15 minutes. Don’t forget about your scalp, either! A big floppy sun hat is a fashionable way to protect your head when you’re out.
Did you know that as much as 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs by age 18? In recognition of Sun Safety Week, be sure to check out these useful guidelines to lessen the risk of sun damage.
Slop It On — Apply 30 SPF sunscreen every day. Cover all exposed skin, including hands, ears and the back of the neck. Reapply after swimming or if your child perspires excessively.
Keep It Cool — Schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
Cover Up — Outfit your children with broad brimmed hats and protective clothing that covers the arms and legs.
Protect Those Peepers — Choose real (not toy) sunglasses with polarized lenses for your children.
Babies Under 6 Months — A child is never too young for sunscreen. But it’s wise to keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight altogether. Their thin skin can burn after just minutes in the sun.
Higher SPF — While there are sunscreens made particularly for babies and toddlers, the most important thing to remember is that the higher the SPF and UVA stars, the better.
Summer is officially here! As the weather warms up and you and your family start spending more time outside, it’s important to keep sun safety in mind to ensure a healthy and happy season. Check out the following Q & A with CHOC Pediatrician, Mark Colon, M.D., for some great tips about sunscreen.
Q: At what age can I begin putting sunscreen on my child, and what SPF is best for young children?
A: A child is never too young for sunscreen. But it’s wise to keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight altogether. Their thin skin can burn after just minutes in the sun. Dress infants in lightweight cotton pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a broad-brimmed hat for added protection.
Before using sunscreen, test a patch on your child’s back to make sure there’s no allergic reaction. Look for sunscreen that includes:
“Broad-spectrum” on the label. This means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 for UVB protection, and 45 for babies.
The new UVA “star” rating. Four stars is the highest protection available in an over-the-counter sunscreen, and the best for children
For sensitive areas, such as the nose, tops of the ears and the shoulders, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
While there are sunscreens made particularly for babies and toddlers, the most important thing to remember is that the higher the SPF and UVA stars, the better. For best results, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure. And remember to re-apply every two hours and after swimming.
A final note – just because your children are using sunscreen doesn’t mean they can stay in the sun all day. It just means they’re lessening the risks of sun damage.
Do you have any great sun safety tips? Post a comment and share!