Everything that you need to know about sun protection in one place

Everything that you need to know about sun protection in one place

Sun safety for your child

from Minnesota Star Tribune

Summer is upon us, and with it comes the soothing and replenishing rays of the Sun.  Most of us know, however, how damaging the sun can be to unprotected skin.  Both adults and children can shield themselves form the harmful Ultraviolet rays of the sun, which has been shown to cause skin cancer.  This post from the Minnesota Star Tribune gives you all of the information that you need to adequately protect your family, as well as explaining some of the confusing differences between some similar terms that are frequently used to describe the products.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

One of the great aspects of childhood is being outdoors. Whether you are at the swimming pool, a soccer game, or the park, it is important for all family members to practice sun safety. Much of our lifetime sun exposure happens in the first 18 years of our lives, and protecting the skin of infants and children will reduce their skin cancer risk as they grow older.

What are different ways to protect children’s skin from the sun?

The first and easiest way to protect children’s skin is to be thoughtful about sun exposure. The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so it is safest to plan for time outdoors in the morning or late afternoon.

When possible, stay in the shade. Keep sun hats and sun glasses easily accessible in the stroller or your car. Children should be dressed in cool, comfortable, lightweight clothing to cover their skin. Dark clothing with a tight weave is best (you can test this by holding the cloth up to a light and seeing how much light gets through). Use swim shirts when at the swimming pool. Clothing made to protect from the sun is given an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating.

Finally, for the parts of skin that can’t be covered, there are sunblock and sunscreen.

What is the difference between sunscreen and sunblock?

Sunscreen chemically absorbs UV radiation and dissipates it as heat. Sunblock provides a physical barrier that reflects UV radiation. Sunblocks contain compounds like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that make them thick and may leave a visible layer (or block) on the skin. Many products for children contain a combination of both.

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