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Keep your children sun-safe this summer

It's important to protect your child’s skin to prevent melanoma and skin damage from too much sun exposure.

Here comes the sun and that means warm days by the swimming pool, lazy Sundays at the park, and fun at the beach! While we all love summer, it’s important that you protect your child’s delicate skin from the sun. Here’s how…

The importance of sunscreen

Ensure that your child wears sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, as well as sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s UV rays, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield their face.

A mistake many parents make is not applying enough sunscreen on their children. In general, it takes about two tablespoons of sunscreen to cover the exposed parts of your body – and a bit less for smaller children.

Top tip: Make sure important parts of your child’s body are covered, such as the nose, ears, neck, hands, and feet. Lips also are at risk for sunburn, so select a lip balm with an SPF 30 or higher.

Child-proof your swimming pool

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four.

If you have a pool, it’s your responsibility to safeguard it. Child-proof your swimming pool by enclosing the area with a fence and a self-latching gate and/or putting a net over your pool.

Top tip: Don’t forget to supervise your children wherever they swim, even if they know how to swim.

Invest in a life vest for your child

Children and teens should wear a life jacket any time they are on a boat, raft, inner tube, or swimming in open water like lakes, rivers, or the ocean. Children aged five and under – as well as those who cannot swim – should also wear a life jacket while in or near water.

Top tip: Remember that floaties (inflatable arm bands) are not a substitute for approved life jackets and can give children and parents a false sense of security.

Limit your child’s sun exposure

Try to keep your child in the shade when the sun is at its strongest (usually mid-morning to mid-afternoon). Remember that even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays reach the earth. In fact, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. This “invisible sun” can cause unexpected sunburn and skin damage.

Top tip: Sand can reflect as much as 25% of UV radiation. This means if your child is sitting under a beach umbrella, UV radiation can still damage their skin.

Dress your child in  sun-protective clothing

Dress your children in a variety of available UV protective clothing that can be worn in and out of the pool/water ( long-sleeved cotton clothing, and sunglasses).

Top tip: It is safest to keep babies younger than 12 months out of the sun.    

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