Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Day at the Beach: Sun Safety



















In last week's post, we discussed swimming safety.  This week, our focus is on the sun.

While the dangers of water are usually immediate, the dangers of sun are generally more long-term, but still very serious.

There are actually benefits to being out in the sun, but too much time in the sun can damage the skin and increase the chance of developing skin cancer in the future.  So whether at the beach, by the pool, or just in the yard, it's important to protect our children from too much exposure to the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun.

Here are a few simple steps you can take:

  • First, try and plan outdoor activities in the mornings or early evenings.  UV rays are at their strongest and most dangerous during the midday hours (10am-4pm).  I see lots of parents at the beach taking their children in before lunch and/or bringing them out late in the afternoon.  That's good to see!
  • Always apply sunscreen.  Make sure to use one with both UVA and UVB protection and high SPF.  For the best protection, apply literally 20 to 30 minutes before your child goes outside.  Be sure to reapply as needed throughout the day, even with "waterproof" or "water-resistant" products.  We carry the Supergoop sunscreen at Cloud 9, SPF 30 and 50.  We use it with Emma and love it!            
  • Cover up.  Hats, long pants, a beach cover up--those are all good choices.  I personally love the long-sleeve rashguard shirts that we carry at Cloud 9.  They provide a UPF of 50 and can be worn in and out of the water.  We also have a great selection of adorable hats and bonnets.
  • Seek shade.  An umbrella or tent is a must-have for a beach trip with young children.  Both the CDC and the Mayo Clinic recommend that babies under 6 months of age simply be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible.  And even with toddlers and older kids, it's a good to limit their exposure and have a shaded area where they can cool down.
  • Don't let the clouds fool ya.  Have you ever been out at the beach on a cool and cloudy day only to wake up to a sunburn the next morning?  Cloud's don't block the sun's UV rays, they only filter them.  So just because it's not sunny and 90 degrees doesn't mean you're not getting sunburned.

Remember, just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of developing skin cancer later in life.  It's up to you to protect them.

If you have other sun safety tips, leave a comment below.  We'd love to hear them.

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