With the weather getting warmer and kids taking breaks from
school, families are sure to spend more time out of doors and in the sun. We all know we should put on sunscreen, but
which kind is the best and how often should we put it on? How do we protect our eyes as well? Get some tips before a fun family afternoon.
Apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before sun exposure. While sunblock tends to have immediate
effect, sunscreen does not. You should
also reapply sunscreen every two hours, or even more often if you are exposed
to water or if you are sweating often. A
common misconception is that all sunscreen is created equal. Anything over 30 SPF does give the protection
you need; with an SPF of 30 or over, you are blocking over 90 percent of the
sun’s rays. Many doctors, however, do
recommend the higher SPF the better because people do not always apply it as
thick as necessary.
Other things to check for sunscreen are that they cover both
UVA and UVB rays. Sunblock is a good
idea for sensitive areas like the nose, cheeks, ears, and shoulders. Remember that the sun’s rays are present even
when it’s cloudy, so you should wear sunscreen any time you are outside.
If you and your family spend a lot of time outside, you
should check often for moles or other marks.
Even kids can get skin cancer, so it is important to check for the
warning signs. You also avoid sun exposure
during the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., which are peak hours for the sun
rays being the strongest.
Also don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun. While sunscreen is a given for most families,
not all people remember to put on hats or wear sunglasses. A hat with a bill will protect the face, and
sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection will cover eyes. Keep children, especially babies, out of the
sun by putting up a protective umbrella or sitting under a tree.
Always remember that you set the best example for your kids;
if they see you wearing sunscreen, they will be more likely to follow suit and
create good habits.