Children need sunlight on their skin for their bodies to make vitamin D as they get about 80% of their vitamin D this way. But It only takes a little time in the sun for most people to get the vitamin D they need.
So how do you get your child the vital sun exposure they need without risking their safety? We have a few tips for you:
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that all kids, regardless of their skin tone, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Whatever sunscreen you choose, make sure it’s broad-spectrum that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. If kids are in or near water make sure it is also labeled water-resistant. Apply a generous amount and reapply often.
Avoid the Strongest Rays of the Day
Try to stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. If kids are in the sun during this time, apply and reapply sunscreen. Most sun damage happens from exposure during day-to-day activities, not from being at the beach, so even if they are just playing in the backyard, apply and reapply! Remember that even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays reach the earth. Be careful because this “invisible sun” can cause unexpected sunburn and skin damage.
One of the best ways to protect skin is to cover up. Make sure clothes offer enough protection by putting your hand inside garments to make sure you can’t see it through them. For outdoor events, bring along a wide umbrella or a pop-up tent to play in. If it’s not too hot outside and won’t make kids even more uncomfortable, have them wear light long-sleeved shirts and/or long pants. There is even clothing made with UV protection that is perfect for extended outdoor activities.
Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. Even 1 day in the sun can lead to a burned cornea, the outer clear membrane layer of the eye. The best way to protect eyes is to wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
Some medicines make skin more sensitive to UV rays. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any prescription, especially antibiotics and acne medicines, and over-the-counter medicines your kids take can increase sun sensitivity. If so, take extra sun precautions. The best protection is simply covering up or staying indoors; even sunscreen can’t always protect skin from sun sensitivity.
Staying sun smart this summer does not mean risking all the fun as long as proper precautions are taken. Beat the heat from sunburn and lasting skin damage by covering up and staying safe!
Drama Kids International offers summer camps all over the United States! If you are looking for a fun and developmental camp for your child this summer, check out your local Drama Kids today.