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Offered by Joel Hartl, M.D., Brighton Pediatrics

Sunscreen TimeSummer is just around the corner. In Colorado, that means lots of high-altitude sunshine. While ultraviolet (UV) radiation is great for the soul, it can be dangerous for the skin. It is especially dangerous to children’s skin as it is estimated that 80% of lifetime UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. UV exposure can cause sunburn and photoaging, but is most concerning for development of melanoma.

Here are some recommendations to protect yourself and your children this summer:

  • Clothing and shade provide the best UV protection. Wear hats and long sleeves and try to stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm
  • Children <6 months old should be shaded from the sun exclusively. Sunscreen is not recommended for this age group.
  • Apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen to all exposed areas 15 minutes before going outside and then every 2 hours thereafter. Apply more frequently if swimming or sweating.
  • Do not allow children or teenagers to use tanning beds. Tanning increases the risk of melanoma by 75%.

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