No one loves the summer sun more than my daughter, Isabella, and I. We spend our days swimming at the pool, going to the beach, and attending the city fair. It’s also the perfect tijme to highlight July as UV Safety Awarness Month! We must remember to protect our children’s eyes and skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
By learning the risks that occur with too much sun exposure and taking positive precautions for protection, you and the GlamBaby in your life and enjoy the sun and the outdoors all year long.
Ultra Violet light (UV)
The major UV rays that are emitted from the sun are UV- A and UV- B. UV- B Rays are short wavelengths that can reach the outer layer of the skin and UV- A rays are longer wavelengths that are able to penetrate the middle layer of the skin.
Risk Factors of UV
Below are harmful effects of unprotected sun exposure.
. Early Cataracts
. Early macular degeneration
. Eye growths
. Skin Cancers
. Pre- mature aging of the skin
UV Preventative Care
There are easy and effective ways to protect you and your family from the risks that are associated with UV exposure from the sun.
1. 100% UV protected sunglasses:
When purchasing sunglasses for your children you want to remember that they block 100% of the UV- A and UV- B rays by choosing trusted brands. Also, keep in mind that just because a sunglass has dark lenses, it doesn’t mean that they are UV blocking. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on how dark the lenses are.
2. Choose form fitting styles:
Ideally, you want your child’s sunglass to cover the front of the eye AND the skin around the eyes. The skin around the eyes are the thinnest skin on the body and therefore more susceptible to cancers. In fact, 10% of skin cancers occur around the eye. Choose a sunglass style that is large enough to cover both eyes and surround skin and form fitting enough not to let the sun’s rays enter from the top and sides.
3. Avoid peak sun times:
Try to keep your kids out of the sun between 10 am and 2pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Finding indoor activities to do during these hours will help prevent a rush of UV exposure during the day.
4. Wearing sunscreen:
Apply generous amounts of sunscreen on the face, on the skin surrounding the eyes, and on body to help keep skin cancers away. For children, 6 months and older a mineral based sunscreen is suggested with a “broad spectrum” SPF of at least 30 or higher protected against both UV- A and UV- B. Also, don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours while outdoors.
5. A wide brimmed hat:
Keep children’s eyes and skin safe by adding a hat to also cover the areas.
Preventative care when it comes to UV exposure can be easy if done consistently and correctly. Protecting our children from the harmful effects of the suns rays today can help them live healthier lives in the future.
xo, Dr. Arian Fartash