Sun Safety

Preventing sunburns is so important because even a “few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer.”  The best way to prevent sunburn is through skin protection.  We recommend staying in the shade as much as possible, wearing sun-protection swim shirts and hat, and applying sunscreen or sunblock to exposed skin.  Sunscreen or sunblock should be applied at least every 2 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests “about one ounce of sunscreen per application for a child.”  For those infants younger than 6 months, the best protection is to stay out of direct sunlight and wear sun-protection clothing.  In these youngest babies, where direct sun can’t be avoided, use sunscreen only on small areas of the body.  In addition to protecting our skin, we must also protect our eyes.  The AAP recommends wearing sunglasses “with at least 99% UV protection.”

 

Tips for choosing a sunscreen/sunblock for your child.

 

Sunblock vs Sunscreen

Sunblocks are physical barriers that reflect, scatter, and absorb both UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin. Sunblocks contain Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide which rarely cause allergic reactions. Sunscreens change the sun’s rays after they penetrate the sunscreen. These products need to be labeled as “stable” or “photostable” to be most effective.  For help choosing a product, look at the “best-rated sunscreens marketed specifically for use on babies and kids” found here: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-kids-sunscreens/.

 

Sunburns

Sometimes, despite parents’ best efforts, sunburns happen.  Call your pediatrician if your child (less than 1 year old) gets a sunburn, or if your child’s sunburn causes blisters, pain or fever. For those over 1 without a blistering burn, applying cool compresses and aloe vera gel to the area is often very helpful. Pain medication, such as ibuprofen (for those over 6 months) and acetaminophen (for those under 6 months) can also relieve pain.  It is very important to keep the affected skin out of the sun until healed.  Lastly, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

 

Additional information

References

 

 

 

 

Author
AHK PNP's

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to do if you suspect a concussion

Though it does not yet feel like fall in Austin, fall sport season is here. In Texas, one of our most loved fall sports is Football. Though concussions can happen in numerous ways, we unfortunately see them most due to football injuries. Below we explain

Our favorite internet resources for parents

Parents should have lots of questions about their growing & developing child. Often these questions come in the middle of the night and parents may want to find answers from a trusted online source. Here are some of our favorite internet resources.

Swimmer's Ear

Austin is beautiful in the summer and we love getting outside in the water to cool off on hot days. Though swimming is a perfect summer activity, it can lead to a very painful condition called swimmer’s ear. Read below to find out more about this common!

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth is a common childhood virus that is seen in our office this time of year.  Read more to find out answers to the questions we hear most often. 

Strep Throat

Strep throat is going around. Read below to find out more about this common illness.

Fever

This blog gives answers to our most commonly heard questions about fever.