Friday, May 11th, 2012
1. Once your kids are older than 6 months of age, always put sunscreen on them 15-30 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every 2 hours. If your children have been swimming then reapply sunscreen more frequently. Remember that water-resistant sunscreen wears off in the water.
2. Remember to cover with suncreen the easy to forget areas with the pnumonic “BEENS”: Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck and Scalp.
3. Use sunscreen with Sun Protective Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and a sunscreen which protects from both UVA and UVB light (a “broad spectrum” sunscreen). Parents who want to use the safest products on the market should use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These compounds are not absorbed by the skin and are less irritating than PABA or oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate containing sunscreens.
4. My children called sunscreen “SUN SCREAM” because of the less than enjoyable application process. Put some fun in the whole experience by letting older children help you to choose a scented or colored sunscreen. Avoid these fancy sunscreens if your children have sensitive skin or an allergic skin condition like eczema.
5. Wear clothing to protect exposed skin, especially with fair skinned children. Dark-colored, loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts made from tightly woven fabric offers the best UV protection from the sun. T-shirts generally have SPF ratings below 15. If you are able to see through a T-shirt then the sun can shine through that shirt and burn a child.
6. Wear a hat with a wide brim that will shade a child’s face, ears, head and back of the neck from the sun. Avoid straw hats with holes that can let sunlight through to the skin. Hats should be made of a tightly woven fabric like canvas that will protect skin from UV rays. When wearing a hat any exposed skin must be covered with appropriate suncreen.
7. Wear sunglasses which wrap around the eyes and which block close to 100% of the UVA and UVB rays. This will protect the skin around the eyes, prevent the cornea from burning and will reduce the risk of cataracts later in life.
8. Love the shade, not the sun whenever you can. If you are in the shade still protect your children with appropriate clothing and sunscreen because reflected sunlight off of concrete, hard surfaces, sand or water can still produce sunburn.
9. Any child with a bad sunburn that makes him look ill, produces fever or blisters (a sign of a 2nd degree burn) should be seen in our office. If your child develops a sunburn but remains playful and active and does not have blisters then there are several things you can do to treat the sunburn:
Avoid over-the-counter topical pain relievers (anesthetics) that contain benzocaine. These may actually increase the pain and some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to the benzocaine.
Take these precautions and enjoy your time in the sun this summer with your family.
David Roos, M.D.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
We want to thank all who participated in our Easter Picture Contest! We also want to thank Ammons Photographic Art for their generous contribution!
The awards will be mailed in the next few days!