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Kids Sun Protection: A Guide to Sun Safety

Kids Sun Protection: A Guide to Sun Safety

Kids Sun Protection: A Guide to Sun Safety

Did you know that just one severe sunburn in childhood can double the risk of developing melanoma later in life? Protecting your kids from harmful UV rays is more important than ever. Here’s everything you need to know about kids' sun protection.

Understanding UV Radiation: UVC, UVB, and UVA

Understanding UV Radiation: UVC, UVB, and UVA

When protecting your kids from the sun, it’s important to know about the different types of UV radiation: UVC, UVB, and UVA. UVC is the most harmful type, but it’s completely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and doesn’t reach us. UVB rays cause sunburn and are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. They damage the outer skin layers and can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. UVA rays make up 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth. They penetrate the skin more deeply, causing long-term damage like wrinkles and contributing to skin cancer. UVA rays are present all day and can penetrate clouds and glass.

When to Cover Up for Your Kids Sun Protection

When should you be using sun protection? To know when UV rays are strong, you can check the UV Index. Any time the UV Index is 3 or more, it is recommended to use sun protection, especially in the afternoon. It’s not just sunny days either! The sun’s rays can get through clouds, fog, and haze, so don’t forget to protect your kids even if it doesn’t look super sunny.

The UV Index Infographic
Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Kids

Choosing the Right Sunscreen

You already know that sunscreen is great sun protection for kids – but what makes it effective? Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF between 30 to 50, like Babo Botanicals SPF 50 Baby Mineral Sunscreen. To avoid harmful chemicals, look out for sunscreens that are EWG Verified. And skip the spray! Potential inhalation risk aside, spray sunscreens apply too thin of a layer to be effective.

Proper Sunscreen Application

  • Apply a generous amount over all exposed skin, at least 30 minutes before being in the sun.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating – even if your sunscreen is water-resistant.
  • Sunscreen isn’t recommended for babies under 6 months, so make sure you find alternate sun protection.

Sunscreen alone doesn’t cut it for kids sun protection – so don’t skip out on a hat, sunglasses, and UV clothing.

Finding the Perfect Sun Hat

Choose a wide-brimmed, breathable sun hat with a UPF rating of 50+ to provide full protection for the face, ears, and the back of the neck. Look for hats made from 50+ UPF fabric where the UV protection comes from the tight weave of the fabric, not from harmful chemicals, dyes, solutions, PFAS, or fluorocarbons. Also, look for hats with adjustable straps or chin cords to help keep the hat in place, especially on windy days.

Selecting Effective UV Clothing

Clothing choices also make a difference! For the best protection, wear lightweight, UV-rated clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Choose 50+ UPF-rated clothing where the UV protection comes from the weave of the fabric without harmful chemicals, dyes, solutions, PFAS, or fluorocarbons. While all clothing offers some protection, only UV-rated clothing protects the skin completely. Colour makes a difference too! Dark or bright colours are the most effective since they absorb more UVR than white.

Selecting Effective UV Clothing & Sun hats for Children
How to Choosing the Right Sunglasses for Kids

Choosing the Right Sunglasses

UV rays are also dangerous for eyes and are reflected from surfaces like water and concrete, so don’t forget to protect their eyes too! Look for sunglasses with UV400 protection. Ensure the sunglasses fit well and are comfortable for your child to wear, encouraging them to keep them on while outdoors. All sunglasses reduce brightness, but only polarized lenses reduce glare. Glare happens when the sun reflects off a surface, like snow or water, at a greater magnitude. Harsh glare has harmful impacts on your kid's vision – from reduced depth perception to temporary blindness. Sunglasses with UV400 polarized lenses provide 100% UVA & UVB sun protection. For the best kids sun protection look for sunglasses with a strap as well to ensure they stay on your little one's face.

Seek Out Shade

Even with other forms of kids sun protection, it’s recommended to stay out of direct sun, especially during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Not only does taking breaks from the sun reduce the amount of UV exposure, but it also helps your little ones cool down. If you’re planning a day trip to the beach or park, try to find a spot with trees nearby or bring along a UV beach tent or umbrella. Also, know when to stay inside! If the UV Index is 8 or more, consider planning for indoor activities, as the risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure is very high to extreme.

Seek Out Shade - A Guide to Sun Safety for Kids
Kids Sun Safety Checklist Kids Sun Protection: A Guide to Sun Safety

Key Takeaways for Effective Kids Sun Protection

To effectively protect against all types of UV radiation, it’s crucial to:

  • Use Sunscreen: Broad-spectrum natural sunscreens with an SPF of 30-50 protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Choose UV clothing and hats with a 50+ UPF rating, and polarized UV 400 sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes from UV rays.
  • Seek Shade: Avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours and find shade when spending extended periods outdoors.

By understanding the dangers of UV radiation and taking these precautions, you can ensure your kids sun protection so they can enjoy the sunshine safely. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in protecting their delicate skin. Stay sun-safe and have fun outdoors!

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