yourself and your kids safe in the sun on vacation
break is a great time for the family to get away from
the cold, dark days of winter and have some fun in
the sun. Keep your family safe while on your trip
by following these tips from the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP).
Sun Safety for Babies
Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of
direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade under
a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy.
Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the
arms and legs, and use brimmed hats.
Sun Safety for Kids
Choose sunscreen that is made for children, preferably
waterproof. Before covering your child, test the sunscreen
on your child's back for a reaction. Apply carefully
around the eyes, avoiding eyelids. If a rash develops,
talk to your pediatrician.
Select clothes made of tightly woven fabrics. Cotton
clothing is both cool and protective.
When using a cap with a bill, make sure the bill is
facing forward to shield your child's face. Sunglasses
with UV protection are also a good idea for protecting
your child's eyes.
If your child gets sunburn that results in blistering,
pain or fever, contact your pediatrician.
Sun Safety for the Family
The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m. Try to keep out of the sun during those hours.
The sun's damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand,
snow or concrete; so be particularly careful of these
Most of the sun's rays can come through the clouds
on an overcast day; so use sun protection even on
When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words "broad-spectrum"
on the label - it means that the sunscreen will screen
out both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA)
rays. Choose a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen
and reapply every two hours.
Zinc oxide, a very effective sunblock, can be used
as extra protection on the nose, cheeks, tops of the
ears and on the shoulders.
Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
Rub sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed
areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands,
and even the backs of the knees.
Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors
- it needs time to work on the skin.
Sunscreens should be used for sun protection and not
as a reason to stay in the sun longer.
Drink plenty of water, non-carbonated and non-alcoholic
drinks, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Stay within the designated swimming area and ideally
within the visibility of a lifeguard
Never swim alone.
Be aware of rip currents. If you should get caught
in a current, don't try to swim against it. Swim parallel
to shore until clear of the current.
Seek shelter in case of storm. Get out of the water.
Get off the beach in case of lightning.
Watch out for traffic - some beaches allow cars.