Protecting Your Children From Harmful Sunburns

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Sunburns happen to people of all ages, but burns in childhood are of special concern.

“There’s a lot of evidence to show that this sun damage results in sun-related skin cancers,” said Dr. Zakiya Rice, a dermatologist.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a few serious sunburns are all it takes to increase a child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.

Parents can start taking good sun protective measures for their kids early on.

For babies younger than six months, sunscreens are not routinely recommended.

Instead, avoid direct sunlight, seek shade and only use sunscreen on the baby’s face and the backs of their hands if other options aren’t available.

For all others, remember this phrase: slip-slop-slap-and wrap.

Also, wear sun protective clothing with ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, 50.

Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Follow the same rules on cloudy days, but don’t let these messages interfere with your plans.

“It’s is fine to be outside. In fact, we like to encourage kids to be outside and be active,” said Dr. Rice.

Just remember that sun damage is cumulative.

Even moderate sun exposure can have negative lasting effects.

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