Although adequate sun protection is crucial at any age, it is especially important to keep children protected from the sun’s harsh rays as their skin is more delicate and sensitive.
Skin damage and the risk of skin cancer caused by the sun accumulate over time, with the most damage occurring at a young age. A study published by PubMed Central (PMC) found that approximately half of the damage your skin receives from UV radiation occurs before the age of 20.
Receiving five or more blistering sunburns before the age of 20 has also been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by 80%.
How to Keep You Kids' Skin Safe from the Sun
Just a few sunburns early in a child’s life can lead to serious damage and cancer further down the road. Follow these sun-safe tips to keep your little one protected from harsh UV rays.
Dress them in UPF 50+ Clothing
Despite what many believe, average everyday clothing typically has a very low UPF rating and often provides only minimal sun protection.
The average cotton t-shirt has a UPF rating of 7 when dry and 3 when wet. A fabric must be rated at least UPF 30 to adequately protect skin from the sun and qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.
It is recommended that clothing with UPF 50+ rating be used whenever out under the sun. This is especially true for children.
Seek Shade and Avoid Peek UV Index Hours
The best way to protect your child from the sun’s harsh rays is to keep them out of the sun as much as possible. Seek shade when outdoors and avoid prolonged periods out under the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m , when UV radiation is at its peak.
Apply Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Early and Often
It is also crucial to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading into the sun and to reapply it often, especially if swimming or being highly active.
Seek Medical Attention for Severe Sunburns
A sunburn on a child is never “just a sunburn”. If your child happens to experience a severe sunburn, it is recommended that you contact your pediatrician to assess what steps to take.
If your child is under the age of 1 and experiences a sunburn, seek medical attention immediately. Young children have extremely sensitive skin which is much more prone to develop long term damage even after just one burn.
If you need support keeping your children sunburn free try out our UPF swimwear and clothing for kids all rated UPF 50+ for best-in-class sun protection.