What should be done to protect children from the sun's harmful rays? The same multi-pronged approach that experts recommend for adults.
A child’s skin is thinner than an adult’s, and thus more sensitive to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation, according to the World Health Organization, and children who get a lot of sun and sunburns can expect to face higher rates of melanoma as adults. Yet, because children tend to spend more time playing outdoors, most people get the majority of their sun exposure before they reach age 18.
So what should be done to protect children from the sun’s harmful rays? The same multi-pronged approach that experts recommend for adults.
That means covering up with protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-filtering sunglasses; avoiding outdoor activity during the midday hours when UV radiation is most intense; seeking shade; avoiding tanning beds and sunlamps; and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
The WHO emphasizes that sunscreen should never be used to prolong the duration of sun exposure, but rather as a routine complement to other safeguards.
Here are some key tips to keep in mind when it comes to sunscreen and children: