Kelli Ostermann, MD

With summer vacation starting, kids will be spending more time outdoors. Being active outside is very beneficial to children, but one of the hazards is sunburn.

Just one sunburn in childhood greatly increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. All children are at risk and all skin types can burn. Sunscreen is needed even on cloudy days.

For babies under 6 months, it is recommended to keep them out of the sun. If sun exposure is unavoidable, they should be dressed in lightweight clothing, wear a brimmed hat, stay in the shade and wear sunscreen to exposed skin. For older children, it is best to limit sun exposure during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, water resistant (for swimming and sweating), and labeled “broad-spectrum” to protect from UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen generously, about 1 ounce (the amount to fill a shot glass) for older children and adults, and rub it in well. Apply at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or towel drying.

If your child has sensitive skin or eczema, use a sunscreen made by the popular eczema cream makers such as Neutrogena, Vanicream, Aveeno, etc. And don’t forget the sunglasses with UV protection to protect the eyes.

Remember the sunscreen to keep your child burn free this summer.


Learn more about Dr. Ostermann.

Learn more about Pediatrics at Winona Health.

Learn more about Dermatology at Winona Health.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email