Summer Tips: Sunburn and Sunscreen

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Sunburn and Sunscreen

  • Keep children out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Dress them in light weight clothing that covers their arms and legs.  You should also have them wear a hat with a 3 inch brim to cover face, ears, and back of neck.
  • Limit sun exposure between 10:00am and 4:00pm when UV rays are the strongest
  • Sunscreen
    • For babies less than 6 months old use sunscreen on small areas only in areas that are unable to be covered.
    • For older children:
      • Use a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” on the label with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. There are no studies to show that SPF greater than 50 provides any additional coverage.
      • Avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone as it may have some hormonal properties.
      • For sensitive areas (nose, cheeks, ears, shoulders) use a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products may stay visible on the skin after you rub them in.
      • Put sunscreen on 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure; it needs time to absorb into the skin
      • Use sunscreen every time you are outdoors. Remember you can get sunburn even on cloudy days.
      • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel.
    • To soothe a sunburn
      • Give your child water (if older than 9 months) or Pedialyte (if younger than 9 months) to replace lost fluids. Giving water to children younger than 9 months may cause electrolyte imbalances, seizures, and even death.
      • Use cool water to help your child’s skin feel better.
      • Give you child pain medication (For children less than 6 months give Tylenol, For older children may use Tylenol or ibuprofen)
      • Only use medicated lotions if your doctor says it is OK
      • Keep your child out of the sun until fully healed.
    • Call the Doctor
      • If your baby younger than 1 year gets a sunburn or if your older children have blistering, severe pain, or fever.




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