5 Fun-In-The-Sun Safety Tips for Kids
Jun 09, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
School's out, and you know what that means—fun in the sun!
Before your kids run out the door, make sure they're geared up for summer fun and summer safety. Cedars-Sinai patient Gianna shows you how in this adorable video.
Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher and that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—which physically block the sun's ultraviolet rays—says Dr. Susan Rabizadeh, director of the Cedars-Sinai Division of Dermatology.
"Plus they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction or irritate the skin," she continues.
Apply the sunscreen every 2 hours if your kid is running around outside, and reapply immediately when they come out of the water. Don't forget to protect the ears, nose, lips, legs, and tops of the feet. Apply sunscreen even if it's cloudy.
Wear a hat and protective clothing
Wearing a hat is especially important for younger children and infants because their skin is so sensitive.
"For children the key is to wear broad-brimmed hats that cover the ears, face, and back of the neck," says Dr. Arthur Cho, a Cedars-Sinai pediatrician.
Even if your kid has a hat on, make sure to apply sunscreen to the face and neck.
In addition to a hat, clothing with a high ultraviolet protection factor protects kids if they're in direct sunlight, and tighter-knit fabric protects better against the sun.
Hanging out at the pool or beach is an obvious way to keep cool, but don't forget to be safe. Kids who do not know how or who struggle to swim should wear a personal flotation device. If it fits right, the child's ears and chin can't slip through.
Children need adult supervision when they're in or near water.
Dealing with sunburn
If your little one does get a sunburn, apply aloe vera gel gently to the skin. The sun's UV rays are strongest from 10am to 2pm and are just as strong on cloudy and hazy days as they are on bright and sunny ones.
"When you get a sunburn, your blood vessels dilate and you lose heat and water through your skin. That's why it's important to keep hydrated at all times," says Dr. Rabizadeh.
Drink water—lots of it
When it's hot outside, keeping hydrated is key. Drinking good old-fashioned H2O keeps kids cool, keeps the blood flowing, keeps the skin hydrated, and can prevent kids from passing out.
"Even drink water when you're not thirsty," says Dr. Rabizadeh.
Add some fresh fruit to water to make it more appealing to kids and stay away from juices and sports drinks as much as possible.
"Summer is a time for kids and parents to have fun," says Dr. Rabizadeh. "By following these guidelines and tips we can ensure kids will be safe while having fun this summer."