Sun Protection for Everyone

The skin of infants and toddlers is more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. Their skin absorbs chemicals more easily than the skin of adults and older children. Sun exposure can cause unhealthy changes in the skin at any age. Of the three types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB damage skin. Children should spend a lot of time outdoors. Protecting their skin from sun damage is very important.

No matter what type or tone of skin a person has, from infancy to old age, everyone should have protection from sun exposure. Sunscreen products and sun protective clothing help prevent sunburn, skin cancer and early skin aging throughout life. The best protection is wearing light weight, tightly-woven sun-protective hats and clothing outside. Wearing sun protective clothing should be combined with wearing sun screen after 6 months of age.

Sunscreen products should not be applied to the skin of children younger than 6 months of age. Choose a sunscreen product without oxybenzone or insect repellent. Sunscreen should be reapplied more frequently than the insect repellent. Follow manufacturer’s directions. See CFOC3: 3.4.5 Sun Safety and Insect Repellent for additional information.

In 2011, the federal Food and Drug Administration adopted new rules for sunscreen labels. When selecting sunscreen, make sure the label reads “Broad spectrum”, “SPF 15” or higher up to “SPF 50”, and “Water Resistant.” All sunscreen products need to be applied at least 15 minutes before exposure to the sun. This gives the product time to attach to the skin for protection. Sunscreen products should be reapplied if sun exposure occurs more than 2 hours after the product was last applied.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap! every day in every season when going outside.
• Slip on a shirt
• Slop on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher
• Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
• Wrap on sunglasses.                                                                                                                

Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2021