August 16, 2022

Sun Safety

Enjoying the sun? Are you enjoying the rays of sunshine safely? Find out below! 

Siblings in the forest

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. 

Too much sun can cause skin cancer. The sun releases ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can damage skin cells, and contribute to the development of skin cancer. 

 

It is important to protect your skin from UV rays year-round, even on cloudy or cool days!

 

Because UV exposure can cause skin cancer, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.

Here are ways to protect your skin from the sun. 

 

  1. Clothing

    1. Long-sleeve shirts and long pants/skirts can protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Darker clothing may offer more protection from the sun. If possible, wear hats to protect your ears and face. For the most coverage, wear a hat that has a full brim all the way around. Sunglasses can also be used to protect your eyes. Be sure to use sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB for the most protection.  

  2. Sunscreen

    1. When selecting a sunscreen, be sure to choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Ths sunscreen should also have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. SPF rates how well the sunscreen blocks UV rays. Sunscreen should be applied on exposed skin before going outside.

    2. Be sure to reapply sunscreen if you stay out in the sun longer than 2 hours. 

  3. Shade

    1. When outside, try to spend time in the shade if possible. It is still important to protect your skin through clothing and sunscreen use. 


 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend that infants younger than 6 months use sunscreen. Infant skin is more sensitive to sunscreen side effects. Instead of sunscreen, keep infants under 6 months in the shade and out of direct sunlight. 

 

Sun Safety Tips for Infants Younger than 6 months: 

  • Be sure to cover infants in lightweight clothing.  

  • Keep infants in the shade as much as possible.

  • If you are considering using sunscreen on your infant, talk to your pediatrician.

  • Use a hat to provide shade to your infant's face, neck, and ears.

  • Watch your infant for warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These signs include fussiness, redness, and excessive crying.

  • If your baby is becoming sunburned, get out of the sun right away and apply cold compresses to the affected skin. Call your infant’s pediatrician.

  • To help your infant stayhydrated, give your child formula or breast milk if they are out in the sun for more than a few minutes. 

 

It is especially important to protect your skin between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.


 

SOURCES:

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/should-you-put-sunscreen-infants-not-usually