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Ask A Doc – Dr. Kathryn Carroll

A weekly column addressing your most sought-after health questions, answered by Harbin Clinic’s expert healthcare professionals.

Question: How do I keep my child safe in the sun this summer?

Dr. Kathryn Carroll: Although everyone should take precautions while in the sun, children are extra sensitive to the sun’s rays and require additional protection. Children are more susceptible to sun damage, so follow these tips to protect them and their skin this summer.

Always apply sunscreen. Apply a thick layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Lotions and creams are the ideal options for children; avoid using spray sunscreens because they don’t provide reliable coverage and the particles can be inhaled by children. If spray sunscreen is the only option, spray it onto your hands and rub it onto their skin.

Wear sun-protective clothing. Dark-colored clothing, sunglasses, and hats are all great ways to further protect your child from UV rays. You can also invest in clothing with a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which helps block the sun’s rays from reaching your child’s skin.

Avoid peak hours. Keep your children’s outdoor activities before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m. when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Try to stay in the shade if you can’t avoid peak hours.

Watch out for overheating. Children can overheat easily, especially infants. When in the sun, using water misting bottles can help your children cool off. When it comes to enclosed strollers, be wary that the temperature can be very high, so never close in your child entirely and frequently check the temperature.

Harbin Clinic Pediatrics is here for the health of your children by managing the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients in every stage of development.

Published June 12, 2021

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