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May 6, 2013

Tips for Parents on Sun Safety for Kids

It’s tempting for parents to open the doors and let the kids run free outside now that the winter is finally behind us, but before you do there are some things you need to know about that warm, beautiful sunshine.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood—and just one terrible sunburn can double the risk of getting melanoma later in life. At Doodle Bugs!, we take sun safety very seriously. Our teachers take time to obtain sunscreen from parents, double check expiration dates and apply sunscreen to children when they arrive, in the afternoon and after water play. We also ensure children never have to wait for a drink; they have fresh cold drinking water available all day long to keep them hydrated, which is an important part of sun safety.

Follow these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect your children this summer:

Limit outdoor playtime between 10a.m. and 4p.m. Avoid unnecessary exposure when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Even on cloudy or cooler days, ultraviolet (UV) rays remain strong.

Apply sunscreen properly. Generously apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your child goes out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. Don’t forget nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck; lips can also burn, so apply a lip balm with SPF protection. Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours, or after sweating or swimming. Important: Check out the latest sunscreen guide from the Environmental Working Group to find out what’s recommended for your family.

Cover up. Wearing protective clothing and hats is one of the most important ways of warding off UV damage. Go for dark colored clothing; light, transparent clothes often don’t protect the skin from the sun’s rays. Hats and sunglasses are important accessories, and are necessary for babies too. At the beach, bring along a large umbrella.

Keep watch on medications. Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to ask your doctor whether your child may be at risk. Prescription antibiotics and acne medications are examples, but always ask the doctor.