May 04, 2016
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Sun Protection

It is important for children to protect their skin while playing outside in the sun.  Even a handful of sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer as an adult.  Here are some tips on how to protect your family.  

Babies

  • Keep babies out of direct sunlight (under a tree, canopy, and umbrella)
  • Wear protective clothing.  If swimming, wear swimsuits/rashgaurd swimwear that covers arms and legs.  Always wear a hat with a large brim.  For extra protection, wear clothing labeled with an Ultra Protection Factor (UPF).
  • Limit the time outside when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. This is typically between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
  • For children under 6 months, it’s best to avoid sun exposure and to use protective clothing gear such lightweight long pants, long sleeved shirt and a brimmed hat that shades the neck.  Some recommend no sunblock for children under 6 months of age, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics if adequate clothes and shade are not available parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to the child for sun protection.  If you cannot avoid sun exposure and sufficient protective clothing, I prefer the baby to wear sunblock and to not get burned than worrying about harms of sunblock absorption.  If applying sunscreen to infants I recommend giving them a bath after they are done playing outside. 
  • Use a sunblock that is physical barrier sunblock that uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.   These sunblocks create a physical barrier against the sun’s UV rays. 
  • Babies are often sensitive to skin products and you may have to try different sublocks to find the right one that works for your infant. 

Toddlers and Children

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or over. Remember to get their nose, ears, neck, lips and feet.  It is best to apply 30 minutes before going outside and reapply generously every 2 hours and after your child swims or sweats a lot (even if your sunblock is labeled water resistant).  It is ok to use a physical barrier or chemical barrier sunscreen.  Here’s a link of what to look for in a good sunscreen product http://www.aappublications.org/content/34/5/31.5
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses while outside.
  • Limit being outside between the hours of 10am and 4 pm
  • Be extra careful around areas of sand, water and snow because sunburn can occur more quickly near areas that reflect the UV rays more readily. 
  • Set a good example.  If you practice good sun protection habits your child will follow along. 

Written by

 Dr. Deborah Boyle

 

“How can I protect my child from the sun?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 25, April 2016. Web. 29 April 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/children.htm

“Sun and water safety tips” American Academy of Pediatrics. 2015. Web. 29 April 2016.  https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Sun-and-Water-Safety-Tips.aspx

Spring is in the air!  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the kids are merrily playing, and then it starts………. the first “AH-CHOO!!!”     Many adults and children suffer from springtime allergies due to the rising mold and pollen counts in March, April and May. 
With the weather being so nice it is impossible to resist enjoying the beautiful outdoors!  Even children that suffer from seasonal allergies should be able to play outside and to revel in what nature has to offer.  For most kids, seasonal allergies cause mild symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, throat clearing and itchy eyes.  But for some, allergies can lead to other complications such as acute sinusitis and asthma exacerbations.  Therefore, we must take steps to protect our children affected by seasonal allergies.   
Here are some natural tips to reduce allergy symptoms:  

  • Pollen counts are often highest in the morning.  Therefore, it is best to stay indoors in the morning and save outdoor play for the late afternoon or evening when pollen levels are lower.
  • Keep windows in your home and car closed.  Use air conditioners to cool down instead of fans.  
  • Take shoes off at the door and encourage guests to do the same.  This limits the amount of grass and pollen dragged through the house.
  • Do not line dry clothes outside. 
  • If your child’s eyes are particularly affected, wear glasses or sunglasses outside to keep pollen out of their eyes.
  • Keep children inside when mowing the lawn.  If you have allergies and need to mow the lawn wear a mask. 
  • Do not allow pets to sleep in the bed with your children.   They drag pollens and grass into your bed.  
  • Shower after playing outside or before bedtime.  Make sure to also wash their hair and to change into fresh new clothes. 
  • If your child’s symptoms are not controlled by environmental modifications, please let us know at your next visit and we can discuss how to further reduce his/her allergies.  


Written by Deborah Boyle MD

“Common seasonal allergy triggers.” American college of allergy, asthma and immunology.  2014.Web. 20 Jun 2016. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/seasonal.

“How to control your seasonal allergies.”  National Institutes of Health Medline plus. Spring 2013 Issue: Volume 8 Number 1 Page 22-23 https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring13/articles/spring13pg22-23.html

“Allergy Tips.” American Academy of Pediatrics. 01 Sep 2015. Web. 20 Jun 2016.
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Allergy-Tips.aspx

 





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