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Sun Safety for Children and Adults

If you want to reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer, you need to protect your skin! While many people wear sunscreen in the summer or when going to the beach, they often neglect to wear sunscreen during the rest of the year. At One Community Health we know that sun exposure can be dangerous for children and adults alike, so today we’re sharing some tips for sun safety.

Sun Safety for Children

To reduce your child’s risk of sun damage and skin cancer, having them play in areas covered by shade is a good place to start. Outdoor areas that are covered by an umbrella, such as certain parks and playgrounds, will allow them to still play outside without severe harm. The same applies to areas of dense forestry or other tent-like structures. It’s important to note that UV exposure still occurs even in the shade.

The easiest and most effective way to protect your child from ultraviolet (UV) exposure is to invest in a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). It’s unrealistic to expect a child to wear long sleeves and pants in heat, but there are other alternatives. UV-protected beach cover ups and shirts that have more breathable fabric. You can also invest in a hat or sunglasses in order to protect your child’s scalp from sunburn and their eyes from dryness. 

Wet clothing offers less protection than dry clothing, so it is important to always bring extra clothes when visiting a pool, beach, or waterpark. Furthermore, dark clothing and hats are likely to offer more UV protection than lighter colored clothing, because dark colors absorb more UV rays. 

Sun Safety for Adults

When it comes to the sun, moderation is key. Limiting your time in the sun can help prevent signs of early aging as well as sunburn and skin cancer. So can using daily sunscreen. Broad spectrum sunscreens that have an SPF of 15 or higher are the most effective. 

All sunscreens have different instructions,so reading the labels can make all the difference. Make sure to cover all exposed areas, including the top of your head. You should also apply sunscreen to your lips or use a lip balm with SPF protection. If you are swimming or sweating, you should apply sunscreen more liberally and frequently, because it is not waterproof. 

While sunscreen is highly effective against sunburn, it is not as effective against radiation, so other precautions like protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses may be needed. Risk factors for UV radiation effects include pale skin, light colored hair, or skin cancer that runs in the family. 

Safety Checks in Sacramento

At One Community Health, we value wellness about all else. We use our well child checks as an opportunity for parents to ask any questions or voice any concerns they have regarding their child’s health. Contact us today if you want to know more about sun safety for you or your child. 


Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

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