How to Protect Your Family from the Sun

How to Protect Your Family from the Sun

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.

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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