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How To Best Protect Your Child from The UV Rays of the Sun and Still Enjoy Spring

When springtime rolls around, the birds start chirping, the flowers start blooming, and everyone feels excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. The beauty and excitement of spring make it easy to forget how important it is to stay protected from the harmful UV rays that are emitted by the sun.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about UV radiation, UVA and UVB rays, UV exposure, and the best ways to protect your child from UV rays this spring.

What is UV Radiation?

Not everything natural is good for you. UV radiation is a perfect example. This form of electromagnetic radiation comes from natural energy produced by the sun. It has shorter wavelengths than visible light, which means that our eyes can’t see it, but our skin and eyes sure can feel it.

Two types of UV light have been proven to raise a person’s risk of getting skin cancer and a host of eye problems. These are UVA and UVB rays.

UVA stands for ultraviolet A. These light rays are responsible for aging skin and have a longer wavelength than UVB rays.

UVB stands for ultraviolet B. These light rays are responsible for burning the skin and have a shorter wavelength than UVA rays.

UV Protection Chart

How UV Rays Damage the Skin and Eyes

As you and your children enjoy the feeling of the warm sun on your skin this spring, UV exposure is silently doing damage to your skin and eyes if you’re not taking the proper precautions to stay protected from UVA and UVB rays.

UV exposure can silently and invisibly cause serious skin and eye damage if you don’t protect yourself from it. Unprotected exposure to these rays damages our skin cells’ DNA, producing mutations and genetic defects that can lead to premature skin aging, skin cancer, and eye damage like cataracts and even eyelid cancers.

Would you believe that approximately half of the UV damage one’s eyes will incur in a lifetime occurs before the age of 10 and that this damage is irreversible? This is all the proof you should need to take your child’s skin and eye protection seriously this spring.

Baby relaxing in the sun with sunglasses

How to Protect Your Child from UV Rays

Now that you’ve learned about the dangers of UV exposure, it’s crucial to understand how best to protect your child from UV rays while still allowing them to enjoy all their favorite outdoor activities this spring.

Use Sunscreen (properly)

Using sunscreen is only effective if you use it properly. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, make sure it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and get one that’s water-resistant if your child will be playing in or around water. Always apply sunscreen liberally and often, once every 90 minutes or so.

Know When the Sun’s Rays are Strongest (and avoid them)

UV rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so you should try to limit outdoor activities during these hours and try to keep your child in the shade if they will be outdoors during those times.

Cover the Skin Whenever Possible

Hats with wide brims, bathing suits with long sleeves, and loose clothing that covers the arms and legs are perfect options for covering your child’s skin without overheating them.

Wear the Right Sunglasses

To keep your child’s eyes protected, get them a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses that provide 100% UV protection. Make sure they wear them every time they go outside. When you ensure that you and your kids are protected from UV rays, you can all enjoy the best parts of spring with peace of mind. Follow the tips above to keep you and your family safe all year long.

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