Sun Protection

Sun protection for kids important this summer

Parents are urged to keep their little ones protected from the sun this summer, a gesture that could have lifelong benefits. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children are at especially high risk of suffering damage from exposure to ultra violet (UV) radiation. Estimates suggest that up to 80 per cent of a person's lifetime exposure to UV is received before the age of 18. So important is this issue, May 28 to June 3, 2007 is recognized as National Sun Awareness Week in Canada through the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Parents are recommended to select a baby and kid-friendly sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. For example Banana Boat's suncare line for babies and kids provides high sun protection factor and, importantly, comes in a tear free formula.

"Kids can be pretty resistant to having lotions applied to their faces because they are worried about it getting into their eyes," says Lani Lee, director of marketing for Banana Boat Suncare line. "The Banana Boat tear free line ensures the best protection for kids and allows parents to make sure the often-forgotten areas under the brow and around the eyes are adequately covered."

Sun protection factor (SPF) actually means the length of time you can stay out in the sun without getting burned. Assuming a child's unprotected skin would burn in 20 minutes, a sunscreen with SPF 50 allows a child to stay out in the sun up to 50 times longer without burning.

"We recommend parents re-apply sunscreen every one - to - two hours, more often if your child has been in swimming," says Lee. "And sun protection isn't cumulative. If you apply sunscreen with SPF 50, then apply a layer of SPF 30 an hour later, your protection does not add up to 80. Celebrate the summer, just makes sure you read the labels and protect you and your family against the risk of skin damage."

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