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Tips for Keeping Kids Safe in the Sun

UV rays can be especially harmful to children's skin, so here are some tips to make sure they stay safe in the sun.

Now that kids will be spending more time in the sun on beaches and at summer camp, The Skin Cancer Foundation recently shared some tips that will help children and teens to stay safe in the sun.

Keep cool in the shade – Remind kids to play in shaded areas in order to limit UV exposure, especially during outdoor activities taking place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most intense.

Nix tanning – Tweens and teens may want to “lay out” in the sun or visit tanning salons, but the foundation says that there is no such thing as a safe, healthy or protective tan, because tanning itself is caused by DNA damage to the skin. One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing potentially deadly melanomas later in life, says the organization.

Cover up – Consider dressing kids in swim shirts or rash guards while in the water at the pool or beach, and remember to protect the face, neck and eyes with broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Slather on sunscreen – For daily use, the group says to look for broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If children will be spending extended time outdoors, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your child’s entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Help children reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or playing sports, because water and sweat wash sunscreen away.

Keep newborns away from the sun – Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

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