Skip to main content
playing in the sun

Too Much Sun Hurts

Did you know that just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life? Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.

Are sunscreens safe for children?

Yes. Not only are sunscreens safe for children over age 6 months, if used regularly in childhood, they can prevent skin cancers from developing in later life.

How should sunscreens be applied?

Sunscreens are very effective when used properly. Follow these guidelines to give yourself the most protection:

  • Cover all exposed areas, including your ears, lips, face and back of your hands.
  • Don’t skimp; apply a generous layer. Smooth it on rather than rub it in. A rule of thumb is that 45 ml (a shot glass) of sunscreen is needed to cover all exposed skin to attain the stated level of protection.

The CDC has published a great article, Play it Safe in the Sun: A Guide for Parents, that furnishes important information on how to protect children from the sun while they are having fun playing outdoors: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/pdf/cycparentsbrochure.pdf