Playing outside on a sunny day is a great way to soak up some Vitamin D. It doesn’t take much exposure to gain more than is needed, and sun damage can happen quickly. Repeated unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, skin cancer, eye damage, and immune system suppression. Prevention is key in preventing sun damage.
Following these guidelines can help prevent dangerous levels of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
- 1 Avoid exposure during peak times. In summer, the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- 2 Wear sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50. Ideally, apply the first coat 15 – 30 minutes before going outside, then reapply every 2 hours (more frequently if sweating or swimming).
- 3 For children under 6 months, sunscreen isn’t safe. Shade is the best option for protecting a little one’s skin from damage.
- 4 When being in the sun is necessary, wear a long-sleeved, light cotton shirt and a wide-brimmed hat.
- 5 Sunglasses that protect against UV rays are ideal to protect the eyes for cornea damage.
- 6 A rash guard with UV protection in it is also a good option for protecting the skin without having to apply sunscreen.
- 7 Hydration is important when out in the sun for long periods of time. Encourage children to drink water frequently.
- Sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50 is applied.
- There is enough shade to protect youngsters for whom sunscreen is not safe.
- Sunglasses with UV protection are available to protect eyes.
- Clothing is appropriate for the length of time outdoors.
- Enough drinkable water is on hand to meet everyone’s needs.