How often should you reapply sunscreen? Do bright colors really help deflect sunlight? Get the facts on these and additional questions on sun safety for kids.
Here's what pediatricians have to say about some common sun-safety myths--plus advice on how to protect your kids.
MYTH 1: With SPF, the Higher, the Better
Wrong.There's virtually no difference between an SPF of 45 and an SPF of 30, notes New York City dermatologist Linda Franks, M.D. And when choosing a sunscreen, Dr. Franks says, look for those that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which physically block UVA and UVB rays (like an umbrella).
Sun Smarts Advice
Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside, so that a layer of protection can form. Don't forget to cover lips, hands, ears, feet, little crooks behind the neck and shoulders, and the top of the head. (Kids--especially infants--should also wear hats in the sun.)
MYTH: A T-shirt Alone Can Prevent Sunburn
No."Most shirts only provide an SPF of 4 and offer virtually no protection if they get wet," explains New York City dermatologist Linda Franks, M.D.
MYTH: Waterproof Sunscreen Lasts All Day
False: Waterproof sunscreen does not last all day. It should be reapplied every two hours and after swimming.
MYTH: Babies and Toddlers Don't Need Sunglasses
False: All kids--and even babies--should wear sunglasses because UV rays increase the risk of cataracts and can burn sensitive eyelids.
MYTH: Children's Pain Relievers Are OK for Sunburn Pain
False: Over-the-counter pain medications like Children's Advil or Motrin may lessen the discomfort your child feels from sunburn, but they can also increase your child's sun sensitivity, upping her risk of further sun damage.