Every Child Needs Sunscreen
Whether swimming in the pool or in the ocean during vacation, everyone needs to wear sunblock. With all the sunscreens available these days, choosing the right one for your children can be tricky. However, what matters most when picking a sunscreen is how well it protects the skin from UV rays.
How to Choose
Select an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn and tanning, both of which are signs of skin damage. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays (usually labeled as a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). Sunscreen sprays are convenient but used with caution. For starters, sprays are easy to breathe in, which can irritate the lungs. Some sprays also are flammable, so users must avoid sparks or flames when applying and wearing them. Sprays make it hard to tell if you have applied enough sunscreen, which increases the risk of sunburn.
Other Things to Consider
- Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours, depending on location, time of day, and sweating factors.
- Do not use sunscreens with PABA, which can cause skin allergies.
- For sensitive skin, look for products with the active ingredient titanium dioxide.
- Water-resistant sunscreens should be used when in and around water, but reapplied every hour.
- Discard any sunscreen over three years old or that has expired.
- Use lip balm with sunscreen.
- All children NEED to use sunscreen, regardless of their skin tone.
Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun. When going outside, dress your baby in lightweight clothes that cover arms and legs – and don’t forget a hat. If sun exposure is unavoidable, use a small amount of sunscreen on all exposed areas.
Be Safe during Holiday Celebrations
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that approximately 12,000 people receive treatment each year in emergency departments because of firework-related injuries. An estimated 20 percent of these treatments are for eye-related injuries.
- Parents should NEVER allow young CHILDREN to handle or use Class C (consumer-level) fireworks.
- Leave Class B (the kind used in public displays) to professionals.
- Children should maintain a safe distance (at least 50 yards/150 feet) from where the fireworks are being set-off.
- Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source.
- Use fireworks as directed on the consumer product safety label; never alter products.
- Observe local laws and use good common sense.
- Have a designated individual conduct your family show.
- A responsible ADULT should supervise all family firework activities.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area AWAY from buildings and vehicles.
- NEVER carry fireworks in your POCKET.
- WEAR safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Always have water ready when using fireworks.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can.
Back to School
Whether children walk or ride their bicycle or bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.
- Walking to school. Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic. Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming. Never dart out in front of a parked car. Practice walking to school with your child. Cross streets at crosswalks when available.
- Riding a bicycle to school. Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet when leaving the house. Teach your children the rules of the road. Ride on the right side of the road with traffic and in a single file. Come to a complete stop before crossing the street. Practice riding bikes to school prior to the first day.
- Riding the bus to school. Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus. Make sure your child stands six feet away (or three giant steps) from the curb. If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are 10 feet ahead of the bus. You should always be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver should always be able to see you.
- Driving to school. Make sure your teen is ready to drive to school. Explain the difference in traffic and pedestrians. Discuss the different types of distractions that can occur within the car. Follow the Pennsylvania Young Driver Law.
Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.
- Preventing backpack-related injuries. Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort. Do not overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10-20 percent of your child’s body weight. For example, a child that weighs 40 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than eight pounds. Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight on their shoulders.
- Preventing playground-related injuries. Encourage your child to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Children under the age of four should use climbing equipment with assistance and adult supervision.