Beat the Heat: Summer Sun Protection for Active Kids

May 2 • 2016

Summer is right around the corner, which means trips to the pool, attending sports games, and many other fun outdoor activities. Staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays is important for everyone, especially children. In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, we’ve compiled a few simple ways you can keep your kids safe in the sunshine.

Stay Covered
Even though it’s warm outside, covering skin can help keep it safe from UV rays. Whenever possible, opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants in darker colors. If your child is in the swimming pool, a wet shirt offers less protection. Bring along a dry shirt for him to change into when he’s out of the pool to provide the biggest impact.

Always Wear Sunscreen
No matter the time of day or how long your child will be outside, he should always be wearing sunscreen. Opt for one with an SPF rating of at least 30 and apply it 15 to 20 minutes before he goes outside. For longer periods of time spent outdoors, reapply at least every two hours – especially if he has been sweating or in water. Cover his entire body, including often forgotten areas like the top of the feet, scalp, and ears.

Take a Break
Going into the shade for short breaks throughout the day can help prevent sunburn. This can include going inside to cool off or finding shade under a tree or umbrella. Encourage your child to take that time to cool down, stay hydrated, and reapply sunscreen if needed. Also remember that UV rays are strongest during the middle of the day, so this is a great time to go indoors for a bit.

Use Accessories to Stay Safe
Grab your child a floppy hat and sunglasses for added sun protection. A hat can combine with sunscreen to help protect his face, while sunglasses can give his eyes a break from the UV rays. Baseball hats are also a great option, but won’t provide shade for his neck entirely, so be sure to cover any of those areas with sunscreen.

It’s great for kids to be active outdoors during the summer, but make sure they’re doing so safely by taking these measure to prevent skin cancer.