Doctors offer sun safety tips for children

Posted at 8:18 AM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 08:24:59-04

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, Cleveland Clinic shared tips when buying sunscreen and protecting your children from dangerous sun rays.

Here are three things to remember:

  • Buy SPF 30 or higher
  • A "broad spectrum" seal which helps protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Look for the ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

RELATED: Many sunscreens don't meet SPF claims

How to apply sunscreen

When applying sunscreen, pay special attention to the face, ears, back of the neck, shoulders and head – especially if your child has a very short haircut or if their hair is parted.

Sunscreen should be put on liberally, rubbed in and reapplied frequently.

“If you have water play that’s going on, really it’s almost hourly that you need to be reapplying it,” said Dr. Tamburro, a pediatric dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic. “And, of course, if the kids are somewhere where they are dry then we say every two hours.”

Other ways to protect kids

UV blocking swim shirts are another protection option and can save time.

“An entire back can take quite a few minutes [for sunscreen application], if you have an active 8-year-old and he does not want to stand there while you do this, if you have him in a swim shirt/surfer shirt that’s sun protective, you’ll save that time,” said Tamburro.

Experts say wide-brimmed hats to shade the face and neck are also a good idea and babies younger than 6-months-old should be kept out of direct sunlight and in the shade.