While fun in the sun is the goal, one should keep safety in mind. The sun provides several benefits such as Vitamin D, lowers depression and increases energy levels. But, too much sun for too long can be harmful. Out of the possible damage, children under the age of 18 are most susceptible. It is always wise to send your children out covered even if you think it will only be a short while.
Skin cancer is diagnosed over a million times a year in the USA, and one in 5 Americans will get skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Melanoma kills thousands of Americans each year. As always, prevention is the best medicine.
Between the hours of 10AM and 4PM, you should be especially vigilant in making sure your child is protected from sunburn with sunscreen. If possible, try to avoid being outside too much during these times. If your child is going to be spending some time in the sun, you will want to make sure you apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every 2-3 hours. Cloudy days do not stop sunburns or harmful rays, either. Also, protective covering is beneficial always. Try to make sure you keep a hat and sunglasses handy for yourself and your children.
Hydration, hydration, hydration!
If there is one thing we see a lot of in Austin, it is children who get dehydrated. In fact, this is common through all of Texas. Make sure your child is drinking water at regular intervals, and not when they are thirsty. By the time children want a drink, they are often already dehydrated.
Choose a proper sunscreen
When choosing a sunscreen for the extreme Austin heat, remember, not anything will work. You want to choose a full-spectrum sunscreen covering both UVA and UVB rays. The SPF should be as high as possible and no less than 50. If you will be near water, remember to select a waterproof sunscreen, and that needs to be applied every hour to hour and a half. Besides, lotions or creams are better than spray on, as you want to be sure the coat is liberal and full.
We hope you take care when adventuring around Austin with your children. Remember, you can always contact us at Capital Pediatric at 512-454-4545 if you have any concerns about what is safe. If a mistake happens and your child is injured from too much time in the sun, please make sure to contact us for advice. In a worst-case scenario, we to schedule an appointment if necessary. Remember, we at Capital Pediatric are always here to help. We would much rather see your child happy, healthy and safe than in our offices tending to a burn this summer.