Reef Kids: Eco-Friendly Sun Safety

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credit: Kevin Krejci, wikimedia commons

 Summer is in full swing, and that means lots of time spent outdoors, hopefully at a beach, lake, or even a pool. But whatever the summertime activity you have planned for your family, make sure you also plan on adequate sun protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that just one blistering sunburn can double the risk of developing melanoma later in life, and estimates that 80% of a person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood. These tips from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Dermatology will help you help your child to stay safe. These are all great, eco-friendly ways to keep yourself and your kids safe, while doing minimal damage to our environment: 1. Avoid the midday sun. The sun’s rays are most intense between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00, so as much as possible, avoid exposure during those hours. If you are outside during peak sun hours, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, whether that’s under an umbrella, tree, or other structure. 2. Cover up. Wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and long pants and skirts cover the skin and offer protection; rash guards are a great option when swimming or getting wet, since light-colored clothing, once it’s wet, offers very little protection. Sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection keep eyes safe, as UV damage can lead to cataracts later in life. 3. Apply sunscreen properly – and use a brand that is safe for our oceans! Use a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher, and apply generously to all exposed skin 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2-3 hours, or after swimming or sweating. Some of the top ocean-safe sunscreens are: Thinksport Oxybenzone Free Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
TotLogic Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunblock (SPF 30)
Badger – Kids Hypoallergenic Biodegradable Cream (SPF 30)
Raw Elements Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Reef Safe (SPF 30+) Remember, kids are always paying attention to what you do. So, follow these guidelines yourself to set a good example! Enjoy the summer and stay safe!

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