Safe in the Sun

Safe in the Sun with Kids

Rexburg, Idaho

Safe in the Sun with Kids

Days spent at the splash park, climbing R-mountain, and swimming at Rexburg Rapids help us enjoy the warmth of the sun with great fun. How do we soak up the warmth before the cold comes, and protect our children from the sun?

Staying safe from sun exposure can feel like a constant battle, here in southeast Idaho. Sun protection from an early age is critical for preventing skin cancer later in life. Just a few serious sunburns can increase the risk of skin cancer later on.

Red and tan skin is common during the summer. Do we encourage sun exposure with tan compliments? Do we seek out sun exposure for the changing color appeal?

We all know too much sun exposure is bad, but how do we help our kids avoid that summer sunburn? How do we minimize that leathering skin damage to our kid’s new skin? Below are 7 tips. Divided mainly into three categories: 1. Cover, 2. Educate & Examine.

Children have thin and delicate skin which makes them more susceptible to sunburn than adults. Prevent sun exposure and stay outside indirect light in moderation to protect yourself. For children under six months, it is best to keep them out of direct sunlight until they are older.

Spending more time in the sun leads to an increased risk of skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lives, according to skincancer.org.

Here are 7 ways to protect your kids from sun damage.

Cover

1. Avoid Peak Hours in the Sun

The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to wikitravel  If possible, don’t spend a lot of time outdoors during these hours. Instead, enjoy a sunrise hike or a romantic walk at sunset. Photographers say that sunrise and sunset are the “golden hour” perfect lighting to take that new profile picture.

2. Seek Shade

If you can’t avoid the sun during peak hours, find a spot in the shade. Take time to relax under a canopy or a sun umbrella and count your lucky stars that winter is not around.  Shade is most effective when you can’t see the sky.

3. Cover Up!

Hats keep you in style and keep the sun off your head, face, and shoulders. It’s better than a BOGO! Choose a hat with a brim at least three inches wide to cover the back of your neck, nose, and ears.

Clothing is the first barrier between UV rays and your biggest organ YOUR SKIN! Any clothing will help protect you from the sun, but some clothing is better than others. The University of Utah Cancer Center, our affiliate, posted  What Clothing Is Best for Protecting the Skin? 

4. Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are in! This summer enjoy all the sights you see and the quality time with family by protecting your eyes! Your eyes are also sensitive to the sun’s rays. Look for sunglasses labeled as having 99–100% UV light protection. Wrap-around styles keep light from shining around the frames and into your eyes.

5. Don’t Use Tanning Beds

Tanning beds expose you to harmful UV light. Often this type of UV light is stronger and can cause more damage in less time than UV rays from the sun. Learn to love your natural skin color. Remember, a tan is your skin’s reaction to UV damage. There’s no such thing as a safe, healthy tan, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion, according to skincancer.org. Do your part and reduce your chances of skin cancer.

Educate & Examine

6. Have Discussions With Your Child’s Caregivers

If your child goes to daycare, camp, school, or is on a sports team where they will be outside, talk to the caregivers in these places about your child’s sun care needs.

7. Examine

your skin every two to three months. Take note of any concerning changes in the skin. If you have children, teach them to also do at-home mole checks.

Safe in the Sun with Kids

Although the sun feels wonderful after our nice long winters, help the children understand its dangers. Ultraviolet ray exposure can cause sunburn.  Even with continuous and gradual exposure, the sun is still dangerous. Remember that your skin needs protection, don’t forget about the eyes, lips, and scalp when applying sun protection.

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