Babies, Children and Sun Safety
Cat. No.: H128-1/07-504
HC Pub: 4578
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BE CAREFUL when you go outside on a sunny day!
Too much sun can be harmful. You and your baby or child can sunburn in only 15 minutes depending on the UV index value. If the UV index is low (from 0-2), the risk of getting too much sun is low, and no protection is required. If the UV index is between 3 and 7, you need protection. A UV index higher than 8 calls for extra protection. If you travel to the tropics, the index could be higher than 10.
To keep you and your child safe, you should:
- COVER UP - Wear long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they block both UVA and UVB. They will provide protection against eye damage. Use long sleeves and long pants to protect your baby from the sun.
- STAY IN THE SHADE - When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, such as a park with big trees. Always take an umbrella to the beach. Always keep your baby in the shade.
- USE SUNSCREEN when you are outside and the UV index is 3 or more. The bottle should read SPF 15 or higher. SPF means Sun Protection Factor. Put sunscreen on your skin 20 minutes before you go out and reapply 20 minutes after being out in the sun to ensure even application of the product and better protection. DO NOT apply sunscreen on babies less than 6 months old.
- ALWAYS use sunscreen when you are outside in the sun. Carry it with you and put it on every 2 hours (more often if you are swimming or sweating).
- Try to keep your children out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's UV rays are strongest.
- NEVER use baby oil to protect children from the sun. It will NOT protect them.
Did you know ...
Two kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage your skin and eyes. They are called UVA and UVB rays. Broad spectrum sunscreens will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Your local radio and TV stations give a UV index each day. Check the UV index before you go out in the sun.
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
contact the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau of Health Canada at 613-954-6699.