Sun Safety for Children

Sun safety is a priority whether for yourself or your children

Even on cloudy or overcast days exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (rays) from the sun can damage the sensitive skin of young children.

A higher risk of skin cancer later in life has been associated with bad sunburns and too much time spent in the sun without skin protection.

Here’s how to help kids enjoy fun in the sun safely.

Avoid the strongest rays of the day

  • Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest — between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays can cause damage.


  • Use a stroller sunshade to cover your baby and teach your child to play in the shade.
  • Cover your baby in loose clothing and make sure they are wearing a wide brim hat and back flap to protect the back of the neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that have 100 percent UV protection to protect eyes.

Use sunscreen

  • 30 minutes before heading outside, apply a small amount of sunscreen with SPF 30 (sun protection factor) on exposed areas including the ears, nose, back of neck and legs, and tops of feet. Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours and after swimming or vigorous play.
  • Wash sunscreen or insect repellent off the skin well with soap and warm water when returning inside.

Note that sunscreen is not recommended for babies under six months old.

Helpful advice for warm weather?

  • Make sure your child drinks extra water to prevent dehydration. Younger babies may need to feed more often.
  • Never leave your child alone in the car. Your car can heat up quickly, even on days that do not seem very warm. The temperature can quickly become high enough to cause death. Hot vehicles can kill.

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Last updated: 2024-06-20