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sun safety

Sun Safety

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sun safety

The official start to summer is fast approaching and for many of us, the end of the school year marks the start of outdoor activities and beach vacations. While enjoying yourself this summer be sure to take precautions. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Follow these sun safety recommendations to help protect yourself and your family.

  • Shade
    You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelters before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.
  • Clothing
    When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor. If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.
  • Hat
    For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection. If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 30, or by staying in the shade.
  • Sunglasses
    Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.
  • Sunscreen
    Put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.

How sunscreen works. Most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor.

SPF. Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

Reapplication. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Expiration date. Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

Cosmetics. Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 30, don’t use them by themselves.

Information supplied by the CDC

winter safety tips

Winter Safety Tips for Children

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winter safety tips for Children PTandMe
When the temperature drops and snow is on the ground, your children can still benefit from some outdoor physical activity. All it takes is a little extra planning to stay safe.

Layer Up!
Infants and children lose heat more quickly due to their size. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from low body temperature, also known as hypothermia. Dressing in layers is a good way to provide your child with added warmth during the winter months. Your child should wear 1 more layer than an adult would wear. Choose fabrics that wick moisture to help pull sweat away from your child’s skin and keep them warm.

Here are some other winter stafety tips to help keep your child safe in the cold:
• Mittens are warmer, but gloves allow your child to use their fingers more. Consider having your child wear mittens over a pair of light gloves.
• Keep your child’s feet warm and dry with 2 pairs of socks.
• Avoid long scarves and drawstrings or ties, which could become a choking hazard. Consider neck warmers or turtleneck garments.
• Choose hats and hoods that do not obstruct your child’s vision.
• Keep a dry set of clothing at school in the event your child’s clothes become wet.

Winter Sport Safety
Winter safety tips for sports such as skiing, skating, snowboarding, and sledding require adult supervision and added safety measures. To help keep your child safe:
• Make sure your child wears a helmet and other protective gear such as wrist guards for snowboarding and a mouth guard for ice hockey.
• Teach your child to be aware of and avoid hazards when sledding such as cars, trees, and ponds.
• Do not allow your child to skate on surfaces until you are sure the water is frozen solid.
• Do not allow your child to wear headphones while playing. Headphones will block traffic or grooming machine sounds.
• Encourage your child to keep moving when outdoors to help generate body heat.

Bring your child inside at the first sign of frostnip—skin that is red, numb, and tingly. Soak your child’s skin in warm water until the symptoms go away. Do not rub the skin. If symptoms do not improve, call your child’s doctor. If your child’s skin becomes white, hard, and swollen, your child may have frostbite. The skin may also burn, tingle, or become numb. If you think your child has frostbite, bring your child inside and put your child in dry clothes. Do not rub the skin, rubbing can cause more damage. Call for medical help right away.

hockey_player

Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
It is possible for your child to get a sunburn in the winter since sunlight reflects off of the snow and ice. Your child should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply it to your child 20 minutes before going outside and reapply it every 2 hours.

Fuel Up for Fun
Dehydration can contribute to hypothermia. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, especially during vigorous physical activities. Your child will also need to fuel up to generate body heat needed for outdoor play. Provide your child with plenty of healthy snacks such as trail mix, fruit and bread.

When to Play
Freezing temperatures and wind are risk factors for hypothermia and frostbite. Avoid severe cold. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan outdoor activities for warmer days without snow or rain.

Following these winter safety tips will allow you and your child to safely enjoy the beauty of winter.

by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA

RESOURCES:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.healthychildren.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Paediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Chillin’ with winter safety. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Chillin-With-Winter-Safety.aspx. Updated January 19, 2016. Accessed February 11, 2016.

Frostbite in children. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford website. Available at: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=frostbite-in-children-90-P02820. Accessed February 11, 2016.

Keeping kids safe in the cold. American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www2.aap.org/sections/schoolhealth/ECarchivenovember11.html. Accessed February 11, 2016.

Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens. Accessed February 11, 2016.

Last reviewed February 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated:10/20/2014

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

For more winter safety tips to keep you out of harm’s way this season check the articles below!

Staying Warm in Winter PTandMe  snow shoveling safety PTandMe