Alfred Lane, MD, knows that kids love summer and kids love sun. However, he cautions, parents must remember that "There's no such thing as a good tan." Lane is a pediatrician and researcher at Packard Children's Hospital and professor of dermatology and of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
In this new video, Lane provides guidance to help ensure your clients' children are well-protected when they're outdoors. "Remember that if you form a tan, you will have ultraviolet radiation damage," warns Lane. "Unfortunately, the body really doesn't forget this damage. It accumulates from childhood through adolescence and adulthood, and this can lead to skin cancer." To protect your family, Lane offers tips to help kids stay safe outdoors while enjoying summer.
Sunscreen for infants and children
Though your sunscreen may say "not for use for those under six months of age," Lane says it's OK, but perhaps unnecessary. "You can use sunscreen on their hands, face and exposed areas, but an alternative is to dress them in a hat, long sleeves, and long pants." He also suggests placing them in shade, especially since children fewer than six months old usually stay put and don't move around that much. "But once a child is older and becomes mobile, they have more exposure to the sun's ultraviolet light, and that's when you should definitely use a sunscreen."
Does SPF clothing really work? "High SPF clothing is absolutely helpful," adds Lane, who recommends combining this type of coverup with an application of sunscreen on any exposed areas. "SPF clothing along with sunscreen definitely works."
Sticks, lotions or sprays?
"Whether it's a stick, lotion, or spray, all are fine," says Lane, "but it's important not to use the sprays and lotions around the eyes. Instead, use a sunscreen stick around the eyes and maybe even around the lips."
Older children and young adults
"Younger children will keep high SPF sunscreen on, but older children and young adults often say it's too greasy," says Lane. "They seek a sunscreen that's more comfortable, but regardless, they need to be certain to use lotion with at least a 30 SPF. The higher the SPF, the better the protection from ultraviolet damage and skin cancer. Be certain the sunscreen is also waterproof."