Sun Safety for Children

Sun safety is a priority whether for yourself or your children. Children have sensitive skin that can easily be damaged by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (rays) from the sun, even on cloudy or overcast days. Bad sunburns and too much time spent in the sun without skin protection have been linked to a higher risk of skin cancer later in life.

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 have a potential to cause damage.

Cover-up

  • 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 per cent 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.
  • When sunscreen or insect repellent are not needed anymore, wash them off the skin well with soap and warm water.

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.

Services related to this information:

811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555

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Last updated: 2021-10-01