Dermatologist offers tips for summer sunburn safety

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 6:42 PM EDT
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The distant sounds of cannonballs and wheels pedaling along the trail can only mean one thing: kids are ready to have fun in the sun.

After being cooped up in the house for the last few months, due to many activities and events shut down as a result of COVID-19, dermatologist Dr. Amy Vaughan says extra protection is crucial.

"Your skin isn't used to being out or what we call hardened. So this is where you want to start out with that SPF 100 or physical block, which will allow you to get that extra protection," Vaughan said.

For children with skin types more prone to sunburn, parents need to keep a watchful eye.

"One of my children has red hair, fair skin, and freckles, so we take sunscreen very seriously. We wear 50-75 SPF and we put it on every couple hours," said Jennifer Porter.

Dr. Vaughan also says that even if you're just taking a drive, to still wear protection. The sun's harmful rays can come down onto exposed skin, or even penetrate the windows."

"Make sure you put the sunblock on your arm, on your neck, or even at the tops of your hands because you can get sun through the windshield."

In addition to applying sunscreen on sensitive areas like your shoulders, ears, and scalp, sun shirts, hats, and sunglasses are other ways to keep your skin protected.

Since a sunburn can happen in as little as 10 minutes, Dr. Vaughan says consistency is key when reapplying, even when it's cloudy.

"Still go with that rule of every two to four hours reapply," Vaughan said.

"Even if we swim and it's a little cloudy, the kids are like ‘why are we putting on sunscreen and the sun's not out.’ But you can definitely still get burnt and more likely to get burnt,” Porter said.

It's all about having fun in the sun, while avoiding the sting of a burn.

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