Helping children be sun wise

edited by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Summer is here, a time when your children spend more time outdoors. The following precautions can help them avoid UV-related health problems, both now and later in life.

Summer is here, a time when your children spend more time outdoors. These precautions can help them avoid UV-related health problems, both now and later in life.

Summer is here, a time when your children spend more time outdoors. The following precautions can help them avoid UV-related health problems, both now and later in life. Started early and followed consistently, each of these steps will easily become an accepted habit, no more bothersome than fastening seatbelts every time you get into the car.

  • Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation. This will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other eye damage. Check the label when buying sunglasses.
  • Wear a hat. A wide-brimmed hat offers excellent sun protection for your child’s eyes, ears, face and the back of the neck — areas particularly prone to overexposure.
  • Protect other areas with clothing during prolonged periods in the sun. Tightly woven, loose-fitting clothes are best, but more clothing of any sort is better than less.
  • Always use sunscreen when outside on a sunny day. A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 blocks most harmful UV radiation. Apply sunscreen liberally before your child goes out, and reapply every two hours if your child has been perspiring or swimming. Children younger than 6 months of age should never have sunscreen applied to their skin, but should be protected from spending too much time outdoors.
  • Avoid midday sun as much as possible. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

Resource: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Edited by Joanne Henning Tedesco, editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 3, June/July 2005.

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