FORT LEE, Va. (July 28, 2011) -- Protecting a child's skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority all year long, but parents need to be especially careful in the summer. Check out this sun safety advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Sun Safety for Babies
• Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Move the baby to the shade.
• Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs, and use hats that shade the neck.
• Use hats and baby sunglasses to protect their eyesight. There are sunglasses that have a band to prevent them from falling off.
• Apply sunscreen on infants 6 months and older when out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen that has very high SPF rating and that is specific for babies.
Sun Safety for Kids
• Cotton clothing is both cool and protective.
• Wear a hat with a large brim or bill.
• Protect eyes with sunglasses that provide 97 to 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays.
• If a child has an allergic reaction to sunscreen or gets a sunburn that results in blistering, pain or fever, contact the pediatrician.
Sun Safety for Families
• The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to avoid direct sun during these hours.
• The sun's damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand and concrete so be particularly careful in these areas.
• Most of the sun's rays can come through the clouds on an overcast day so use sun protection even on cloudy days.
• When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words "broad spectrum" on the label. It means that the sunscreen will screen out both UVB and UVA rays. Choose a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
• Use a sun protection factor of at least 15.
• Rub sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands, and even the backs of the knees.
• Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to work on the skin.
Skin protection is important for every member of the family so team up with the children to stay protected when venturing out in the sun.