Protecting your child in the Sun

sunscreenThese simple rules can help protect your baby and children from the harmful effects of the sun.

  • The sun’s UV rays are strongest during peak hours, between 10am and 4pm. Limit time spent in the sun during these hours.
  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
  • When possible, dress yourself and your kids in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, like lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.
  • Select clothes made with a tight weave – they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you’re not sure how tight a fabric’s weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better.
  • Wear a hat or cap with a brim that faces forward to shield the face.
  • Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection (look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child).
  • Use sunscreen as protection, not an excuse to stay in the sun longer. For babies under 6 months, only apply a small amount to their face and the back of their hands and tops of feet, and only if shading or clothing are not available.
  • Beware that babies sweat, too, but won’t yet know how or be able to wipe their brows, so the sunscreen you apply can easily run into their eyes and sting.
  • Set a good example. You can be the best teacher by practicing sun protection yourself. Teach all members of your family how to protect their skin and eyes.

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