Protect Babies and Infants from Sun Damage

When we think of skin cancer, we tend to imagine it only effecting people who are older. The common image ranges from a middle-aged man or woman, up to the elderly. Unfortunately, while skin cancer often strikes in the later years of someone’s life, the seeds of cancer are typically sown much earlier.

In fact, recent research seems to indicate that sunburns in childhood are one of the biggest risk factors in regards to if someone develops skin cancer in later life or not. Parents need to be weary because skin is more sensitive in childhood and burns more easily. Plus, children do not know to protect themselves from the sun, which is why it’s crucial you do it for them. Here are the best ways to do so.

Always Apply Sunscreen Throughout the Year

That’s right: Sunscreen isn’t just a summer thing. UV rays are just as damaging when it’s cold and sunny because they are independent of temperature. Plus, rays can penetrate a cloud cover, so rainy and overcast skies aren’t reliable sources of protection either. Don’t forget to reapply according to product directions to safeguard skin completely.

Dress Kids in Protective Clothing

An even more reliable way to protect kids from sun damage is to layer on protective clothing. Unless it’s scorching out, long pants and long sleeves are best. This holds true during water play, so look for long-sleeved swimsuits if possible.

Remind Kids to Spend Time in the Shade

Shade is the absolute best way to protect kids from the sun because it blocks the majority of its harmful rays. Give kids shade to play in, such as trees or porch overhangs, when you’re playing outdoors. At the beach or during picnics, bring an umbrella to stick in the ground. The best umbrellas are treated to provide an SPF factor, sometimes up to 30.

Keep Newborns Out of the Sun, Period

For babies younger than six months, sunscreen is not advisable. That means they should be kept out of the sun, period. If you’re going to be out in the sun, bring a car seat or chair with a canopy for the infant to lay under, and dress them in long clothing. However, when it’s hot, you have to keep an extra close eye on babies to prevent heat stroke, which is particularly dangerous at their age.

If you want more information about sunburn prevention and proper skincare, get in touch with Avail Dermatology, serving the Newman and Peachtree Areas with quality advice and services since 1990. Schedule an appointment at Avail Dermatology by calling 770-251-5111 today!