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Sun Safety

Not long ago we considered children who were tanned from playing in the hot summer sun "healthy" and children who were pale from too much time indoors "sickly". We are now aware that those "healthy" children are at risk of developing skin and other cancers later in life because a child's skin is extremely sensitive to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Not only are children affected by the sunlight but also by the heat emitted by the sun. On a hot
sunny day, children lose body fluid very quickly and become dehydrated or develop heat stroke. 

To reduce injuries caused by heat and sun remember: 

* The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.,
therefore, limit outside play during these times. Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon. 

* Apply sun block lotion to skin 30 minutes before sun exposure with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15. 

* Protection is needed on hot days, cloudy days as well as sunny days. 

* Don't forget to apply sun block lotion on children who play under
sprinklers or in wading or swimming pools. Wet skin allows more ultraviolet rays to penetrate than dry skin. 

* Although the shade of umbrellas and trees is a nice escape from the sun's rays, they do not provide reliable protection against the sun's rays. 

* Fair skinned children with light eyes are most susceptible to the effects of the sun's rays. 

* Avoid exposing children less than 6 months to strong sunlight using a sunshade or parasol on strollers or carriages. (Do not use sunscreen on infants less than 6 months unless approved by the child's doctor). 

* Dress children lightly in hot weather and be aware of overheating children in strollers or carriages. * Provide children with extra fluids in hot weather. 

* Limit outdoor activities to no more than 30 minutes at a stretch during very hot or humid days * Have children wear protective clothing such as hats, sun visors, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants.

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Sun Safety
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