Spring break is a great time to get away with family and beat those winter blues. Dr. Jennifer Guidroz, a Pediatrician at The Baton Rouge Clinic, answers some commonly asked questions about staying safe while having fun in the sun!

How can I keep my baby sun safe?

Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight.  Find a shady place, such as under a tree or umbrella or stroller canopy.  Also, dress them in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs, and use those wide-brimmed hats to shield them from sun.  If there is no way to avoid the sun exposure, a small amount of sunscreen can be applied, but remember that it needs 30 minutes to be effective.

How can I keep my child safe around pools and beach?

Both children and adults should never swim alone.  For young children, it is smart to provide “touch supervision,” meaning that the child is within arm’s reach when in or near water.  Always supervise children closely, as not all swim areas have lifeguards and safe drain systems. At the beach, be aware of rip currents. If you should get caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until clear of the current, rather than trying to swim against it. Never swim during storms or lightning.

Do you have any sunscreen tips for my family?

The sun produces the most powerful rays between 10am-4pm.  Try to stay out of the sun during those hours.  Sun-protective clothing such as swim shirts can help block the UV rays.  Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days.  When choosing sunscreen, look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label to ensure protection against UVA and UVB rays.  SPF of at least 30 is great! Be liberal with sunscreen application, and reapply every 2 hours.  You may want to choose a sunscreen that does not contain oxybenzone, a sunscreen chemical that may have hormonal properties.  Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside, so that it has time to work on the skin.

Always remember to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats!

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