Sunny days bring lots of fun times outdoors. We all like to take the opportunity to spend some time out in the sun and soak up the rays. However, in-spite of the many health benefits the sun offers; you have to be aware of the harmful side effects as well. The following information from Pediatrics American Academy can help you to protect your family from damaging rays of the sun.
Skin and the Sun – Children Health Care Ocala
Sun is an excellent source of energy on earth, but this energy can be harmful to humans. The UV (Ultraviolet) rays of the sun can damage your eyes and skin. These rays can cause skin cancer in any amount. Every type of skin cancer is harmful and malignant melanoma being the deadliest type of cancer. We get over a quarter of our sun exposure during our childhood and adolescence. Children spend a lot of time outdoors playing, summertime especially, so make sure they are properly protected from the sun.
According to research, just 1 blistering sunburn on a child increases risk of melanoma cancer in later life. Sunburns can also be extremely painful. Over exposure to the sun has other risk besides cancer, such as but not limited the following:
- Fever and dehydration (fluid loss)
- Skin damage, such as wrinkles and change of color
- Damage to the immune system of the body
- Cataracts (eye lens clouding) in eyes
Tips to Safely Expose Sunlight
You can’t stop adults and children from exercising and playing outdoors. It is essential for their body, so you have to look for other methods for their safety. Here are some easy rules for the protection of your family from painful sunburns and skin cancers.
- Keep your younger kids (less than six months) away from direct sunlight. Use a stroller canopy, an umbrella or find shade under trees.
- Choose comfortable and cool cloth in the summer season to cover your body like lightweight hats, shirts with long sleeves, and cotton pants.
- Choose tightly woven clothes because they offer better protection than loosely woven garments. For this purpose, hold a dress up to see the amount of light shines from this dress. Choose a dress with less light. You can check the label, such as UPF (Ultraviolet (UV) Protection Factor).
- Choose a hat with almost 3-inch brim for the protection of your neck, ears, and face.
- Avoid going out in the sun from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm because the UV rays will be intense between this duration.
- Buy sunglasses that offer almost 99% protection from UV rays. You must have sunglasses for your whole family with ultraviolet protection.
- Use a sunscreen of a good brand
- Educate every person in your family about the protection of eyes and skin from the sun. You can set good examples by practicing safety measures yourself.
If you want to avoid skin cancers and sunburn, you must have a sunscreen. Always remember that it will be a protection from the sun, not a shield to spend the maximum of your time in the sun.
Ideas to Choose Sunscreen
- Buy a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” printed on the label. It means that this sunscreen is suitable for UVA and UVB rays.
- While considering a sunscreen with broad-spectrum, you have to find the SPF (sun protection factor) of almost SPF 15 to SPF 20. If you get SPF between 15 and 30, it can be useful for numerous people. As per multiple research studies, you have to test a sunscreen over SPF 50 for its extra protection.
- Try to avoid a sunscreen with “oxybenzone” ingredients because of its slight hormonal properties. If you don’t have a sunscreen without this ingredient, then use any sunscreen. It is better to use one than no sunscreen.
- For the protection of sensitive locations of your body like shoulders, ears, cheeks, and nose, you must pick a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. You may notice some fun colors as you rub these products, so don’t worry about these colors.
Application of Sunscreen
- Take sufficient sunscreen on your palm to cover each section of exposed skin, particularly hands, back of knees, feet, ears, nose, and face. Rub the sunscreen well in these areas.
- Apply sunscreen on your face almost 15 – 30 minutes before visiting outdoors. Sunscreen needs sufficient time to absorb in your skin.
- You can use sunscreen without any time restriction when you have to go outdoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen even on a cloudy day because almost 80% of the UV rays of the sun may make their way through clouds. You have equal chances to get sunburn. The ultraviolet rays may bounce back from concrete, snow, sand, and water, so keep yourself protected.
- After every two hours, reapply sunscreen for better protection. Instantly apply it again after sweating or swimming. Try to use a right amount of sunscreen for better security.
Sunscreen and Babies
Your children younger than six months need sunscreen. You can apply on face and small areas of the body in the absence of shade of protective clothing.
If your children are over six months, you can apply sunscreen overall their body, but carefully apply it to eyes. If your child rubs it in his/her eyes, carefully wipe his/her eyes and use a damp cloth to clean his/her hand. If a sunscreen is irritated to the skin of your child, you should try a different brand or choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sometimes, the rash develops on the sensitive skin; you should talk to the doctor of your child in this situation.
Sunburns: Time to Call a Doctor – Children’s Clinic Ocala
If a baby younger than a year gets sunburn, you have to call his/her health clinic in Ocala. For older kids, you can call their doctor in case of fever, pain or blistering.
Ideas to Pacify Sunburn
These five methods can help you to ease the discomfort of mild sunburn.
- Replace any fluid loss by giving pure fruit juice or water to your child.
- Make your child feel better by using cold water on his/her skin.
- You can give some child medicines to relieve the pain of sunburns. For a child of six months or younger, choose acetaminophen. If a child is older than six months, you can give ibuprofen or acetaminophen to your child.
- Consult the doctor of your child before buying a medicated lotion for your child.
- Keep your kid away from the sun until his/her sunburn is completely recovered.
Myths about Sun
Myth: Folks with light complexion are at a higher risk of sunburn
Reality: Folks with light hair or pale skin must be extra careful in the sun because they may get sunburn easily as compared to folks with a darker complexion. Sunburn has nothing to do with skin color. Everyone has equal chances to get sunburn so everyone must take protective measures to avoid harmful rays of the sun.
Myth: Suntan has lots of benefits.
Reality: You can’t avoid sunburn in a base tanning. It can increase your chances to get sunburn because it is difficult to stay out in the sun for an extended period. Always remember that a tan means your skin is damaging.
Myth: Skin cancer is common in adults only, so children don’t need sunscreen.
Reality: In fact, several patients with skin cancer are children, teens, young adults and older people. Excessive sun exposure means many sunburns. It may turn into skin cancer, eye cataracts, and wrinkles in the later years. Skin cancer is common in the USA. As per the cancer society of America, there are over 3.5 million of annual cases of skin cancer.
Effects of Indoor Tanning on Teens
Young women and girls visit tanning salons to feel more healthy and attractive. In fact, tanning at salons is extremely dangerous. Tanning beds are designed to replicate natural sun, and they give off ultraviolet rays. These rays can cause skin cancer and sunburns. Indoor tanning is not suitable for anyone adults or teens.
Moreover, airbrush-tanning booths, tanning sprays, and lotions are also famous. These products have particular chemicals to darken your skin. This tan may last for a few days. Although, all tanning products have specific side effects, such as irritation and rashes on the skin. You have to keep them away from mouth, nose, and eyes. A number of these items lack sunscreen, so your skin has not protective layer from the actual sun. If you want to use a sunless tanning product, make sure to accompany it with a sunscreen or contact your Ocala health clinic for more information.