Spring break is a great time for the family to get away from the cold, dark days of winter and have some fun in the sun. Keep your family safe while on your trip by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story, with appropriate attribution of source. View Spanish Version.
Sun Safety for Babies
- Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of
direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade under a tree, umbrella or stroller
canopy. Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs, and
use brimmed hats.
- It is okay to apply a small amount of sunscreen on
infants under 6 months if there is no way to avoid the sun. Remember it takes
30 minutes to be effective.
Safety for Kids
clothes made of tightly woven fabrics. Cotton clothing is both cool and
- Try to find
a wide-brimmed hat that can shade the cheeks, chin, ears and back of the neck.
Sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection are also a good idea for protecting
your child’s eyes.
sunscreen to areas of your child’s skin that aren’t covered by clothing. Before
applying, test the sunscreen on your child’s back for an allergic reaction.
Apply carefully around the eyes, avoiding eyelids. If a rash develops, talk
with your pediatrician.
- If your child
gets sunburn that results in blistering, pain or fever, contact your
Safety for the Family
- The sun’s
rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to keep out of the sun
during those hours.
- The sun’s
damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand, snow or concrete; so be
particularly careful of these areas.
- Wear commercially
available sun-protective clothing, like swim shirts.
- Most of the
sun’s rays can come through the clouds on an overcast day; so use sun
protection even on cloudy days.
choosing a sunscreen, look for the words "broad-spectrum" on the
label - it means that the sunscreen will protect against both ultraviolet B
(UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply every two hours or after
swimming, sweating or towel drying. You may want to select a sunscreen that
does not contain the ingredient oxybenzone, a sunscreen chemical that may have
- Zinc oxide,
a very effective sunscreen, can be used as extra protection on the nose,
cheeks, top of the ears and on the shoulders.
- Use a sun
protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. There is no benefit to using a
sunscreen with an SPF of 50+.
sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed areas, especially the face,
nose, ears, feet and hands, and even the backs of the knees.
- Put on
sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors - it needs time to work on the skin.
should be used for sun protection and not as a reason to stay in the sun
- Many teens and young women go to tanning salons. The UV radiation from tanning salons raises a
person’s risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma, the most dangerous
type of skin cancer. Tanning salons are
not safe. Teens and others should not
use tanning salons.
- The AAP supports legislation prohibiting access to tanning
salons or use of artificial tanning devices by children under 18 years of age.
plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Stay within
the designated swimming area and ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard
- Be aware of
rip currents. If you should get caught in one, don’t try to swim against it. Swim
parallel to shore until clear of the current.
shelter in case of storm. Get out of the water. Get off the beach in case of
- Watch out
for traffic – some beaches allow cars.
of Pediatrics 2/14
permission from Florida Travel and Tourism Bureau