It’s that time of the year again! School is out for summer! For most kids spending every waking moment outside is what summer is all about, especially living in Panama City Beach! Although being outside is better than spending the summer in front of the TV or computer, the constant sun exposure can be damaging for a child’s skin. So, as a parent, what can you do to protect your little one from the sun’s damaging rays?
It seems simple enough. But then you go to the store and the options are endless. What should you look for? How high in protection should you get? It is overwhelming because we don’t want to settle for something that is meant to protect our child’s delicate skin.
The first thing to look at is the SPF (sun protection factor) number on the bottles. Choose an SPF of 30 or higher. Not only will it protect against sunburn AND tanning, which is also a form of skin damage.
Of the SPF 30 or higher sunscreens, look for a label stating it is a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Also, look for a lotion rather than a spray. A spray may be convenient for kids that refuse to stand still, but sprays are easy to breathe in and can irritate the lungs. It’s often difficult to tell if you have covered all exposed skin, which increases the chance of sunburn.
If your child has sensitive skin, look for a sunscreen with the active ingredient titanium dioxide and stay away from products with PABA, which can cause skin allergies.
It is important to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun. Also, remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours or after your child has been sweating or swimming.
Other ways to protect your child against skin damage are to buy swimsuits that cover more, such as one-piece suits or wetsuit type shirts. Hats are a good way to add a little more protection to the face, and sunglasses add extra eye protection.
If your child has a reaction to sunscreen, contact Dr. Rezk at Rainbow Pediatrics to diagnose any allergies. To schedule your child’s appointment, call today at (850) 257-5524 or visit www.rainbowped.com.