Health Beat: Too much sun hurts

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This young boy is bent over picking up one of his play-pieces from the wet sand. Sunscreen had been applied to his skin in order to prevent overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. However, he would have been further protected if he’d been wearing a dark shirt. (Amanda Mills ~ CDC)

Turning pink? Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun's ultraviolet rays in as little as 15 minutes. Yet it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure. So, if your child's skin looks "a little pink" today, it may be burned tomorrow morning. To prevent further burning, get your child out of the sun.

Tan? There's no other way to say it -- tanned skin is damaged skin. Any change in the color of your child's skin after time outside -- whether sunburn or suntan -- indicates damage from UV rays.

Cool and cloudy? Children still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage. Clouds do not block UV rays, they filter them -- and sometimes only slightly.

Oops! Kids often get sunburned when they are outdoors unprotected for longer than expected. Remember to plan ahead, and keep sun protection handy--in your car, bag or child's backpack.

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