There are some facts worth noting about children and sun exposure:
- Fifty percent (50%) of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood and adolescence.
- It takes only 10 minutes in intense sun for a young child to get a sunburn.
- A person born today is twice as likely to develop skin cancer as one born 10 years ago.
- Sunburns occurring in childhood are a risk factor for the development of skin cancers like melanoma.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies under the age of six months. Consult your physician for children over 6 months.
If a child develops a reaction to a SPF 50 sunscreen, try using a SPF 30 or SPF 15. They will have lower levels of active ingredients that will be potentially less irritating.
SPF’s higher than 50 provide a false sense of security, making parents feel that it is not necessary to re-apply as often. It is best to use a minimum of SPF 30 and re-apply at least every 2 hours. Apply sunscreen to dry skin at least 20 minutes prior to going into the water.