How much do you really know about sunscreen and protecting you and your children from the dangers of sun exposure? Do you know the answers to these sun protection FAQ’s? Find out how sun savvy you really are.
1: Of course you need sunscreen on hot, bright days, but what if it’s cool or cloudy?
Thorough sun protection is important every single day, all year round. Don’t be fooled by overcast skies and cool temperatures; they have nothing to do with sun intensity, and sunburn is a serious possibility even on days that don’t seem sunny at all. Make sure your children are protected every time they go outside.
2: IS SPF really a big deal? Does SPF matter when choosing sunscreen for children?
Yes, it is, and yes, it does. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and look for a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.
3: What type of sunscreen should you use, and how often should you apply it?
A lotion or cream may be a better choice than a spray, especially for babies or toddlers, simply because it’s easier to miss areas with a spray. Be sure to liberally apply sunscreen for children at least 30 minutes before your child goes outside, and reapply it every 60 to 90 minutes. Don’t forget ears, fingers, necks, and toes!
4: If you’re using a high SPF sunscreen, is that enough protection?
Sunscreen is crucial, but it’s not enough to provide complete protection. Sun-smart clothing like broad-brimmed hats, shirts with sleeves, and leg-covering pants are important tools for avoiding sunburn and for skin cancer prevention.
5: Are there any conditions that make sun protection even more important?
You bet there are. Time of day is a major factor; try to avoid outdoor activities between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M., when the sun’s rays are most intense. Location also plays a role. Water, sand, snow, and ice all reflect the sun and intensify UV radiation, increasing the need for sunscreen to avoid burns and for skin cancer prevention.
6: OK, sunscreen is definitely important for avoiding sunburn. But does SPF matter when it comes to skin cancer prevention?
Yes, absolutely! Even a single sunburn increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 effectively keeps out 97 percent of the sun’s potentially harmful UVB rays.