Younger children have thinner skin and less melanin then older children and adults, therefore they are more at risk from harmful UV light. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it only takes one severe burn to double your child’s chance of getting melanoma later in life. The Foundation also reports that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Teaching children how to protect their skin can help reduce their chances of skin damage and skin cancer.
Protect your children by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Babies under 6 months:
• The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant's face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
For All Other Children:
The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation
(UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill
facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100%
protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and cotton clothing with a tight
• Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
• Be sure to apply enough sunscreen -- about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
• Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
• Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.