Summer days in Alaska are known for their long hours of sunlight. While we need some sun exposure to help our skin to produce vitamin D, too much sun exposure can cause burns or lead to skin cancer. And because dangerous UVB and UVA rays can pass through clouds, sun safety is just as important on overcast days. Use these tips to help children practice sun safety.
- Select a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15.
- Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, and every 2 hours after.
- Make it fun: put on sunscreen by playing Simon Says to determine which body part to apply sunscreen. “Simon Says put sunscreen on your ears (and face, neck, arms, legs, etc.)!”
- Give children a hat with a brim to protect their face and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
- Wear long sleeves and pants to protect arms and legs.
- Avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is at its highest.
- Create shade using umbrellas, tarps, or pop-up tents.
- Play games in the shade and provide plenty of materials children can use in the shade.