Since summer is here, I’m sharing some sun safety tips for small children from Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky. He is a New York pediatrician at Belilovsky Pediatrics. (For more information, you can visit his Web site and blog: www.babydr.us.) Below are his sun “rules”:
Rule #1: DON’T GET SUNBURNED! (Use preventive measures, like a zinc-oxide-based (less irritating) sunscreen of SPF 45 or higher, especially for small children. Be careful to apply a small amount to hands, tops of feet and face, and always reapply throughout the day if your children are outside and active).
Rule #2: If you do get sunburned or are even outside in the heat, it is very important to HYDRATE (drink lots and lots of water or electrolyte-enhanced beverages, but water is always best)
Rule #3: DON’T GET SUNBURNED! (If your children are out any time of day, even it seems overcast, covering them up with an umbrella and sun protective clothing is key – hats with UPF built in are great too – I like Wallaroo Hat Company – many of their wide-brimmed hats have a UPF of 50+ and come in infant to adult sizes)
Rule #4: Moisturize and “Cool Down” your skin (take a room temperature bath with soothing oatmeal, gently apply aloe vera and/or lotion)
Rule #5: DON’T GET SUNBURNED! (What isn’t covered in clothes, should be covered in a high SPF sunblock lotion)
Rule #6: Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever like Tylenol every 4-6 hours to reduce aches and burn pain.
Rule #7: If the skin blisters, be careful not to peel it – just continue to moisturize and hydrate.
Rule #8: DON’T GET SUNBURNED! (Especially stay out of the sun if you are already sunburned or have fair skin)
Rule #9: If you see large blisters, feel lethargic, develop a fever, nausea or vomiting –get to your doctor ASAP – this could be sun poisoning or develop into a painful, scarring rash.