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Safety in the Sun: Pediatric Care for Preventing Sunburns

Posted on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

Pediatric Care

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The Jersey Shore is known for its abundance of sunshine that lifts our spirits and encourages plenty of outdoor activity in the summer months. It’s important for children to spend time playing outside, but it’s vital to remember that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can pose a danger in as little as 15 minutes. July is UV Safety Month, so the pediatric care physicians at eMedical Urgent Care have put together the following sun safety recommendations to help protect your children from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

UV Safety Awareness Month

Sun is necessary for life. It gives us the light and heat we need to survive plus it offers us the best source of Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. However, overexposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays can put you at risk for skin cancer — particularly melanoma, the deadliest form. The good news is that prevention is possible.

UV Safety Awareness Month, recognized annually in July, is an opportunity for organizations nationwide to raise the level of awareness about this preventable disease that claims the life of one person every 50 minutes. UV rays can also lead to eye damage and suppress the immune system.

By taking the right precautions to protect you and your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the outdoors safely all year long.

Sun Protection for Children

The CDC recommends the best protection for your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade. Year-round prevention is key:

  • Minimize summer sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, approximately 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Be sure to check your sunscreen’s expiration date. Typically, the shelf life of sunscreen is no more than three years; shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
  • Always provide enough protective clothing, sunglasses and hats for your children while they’re spending time outdoors.

Pediatric Care for Sunburns

If your infant is one year of age or younger and gets a sunburn, never hesitate to get fast pediatric care right away. If your older child or teen experiences blistering, pain, headache, fever or chills, seek urgent pediatric care.

For any mild sunburns, use the following tips to relive discomfort:

  • Keep child hydrated (sunburns are dehydrating).
  • Keep child out of the sun until fully healed.
  • Give child a cool (but not cold) bath or shower to reduce heat and pain.
  • Use fragrance-free moisturizing creams or aloe gel to offer additional comfort.

Walk-In Pediatric Care at eMedical Urgent Care

Living in New Jersey, sun exposure is pretty much unavoidable in the summer. However, with the proper precautions, you can prevent short-term discomforts and long-term problems. It is extremely important to set a good example for your tots and teens so they develop good sun protection habits early in life.

Always stay informed by checking the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) UV index. This index measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1 to 11. A low UV index indicates the need for minimal protection, whereas a high UV index indicates maximum protection.

Find out more about pediatric care and sunburn treatments at eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 908.464.6700, or Middletown, New Jersey, 732.957.0707.

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