There are two types of sun rays that are harmful to the skin. UVA rays cause skin aging and skin cancer, such as melanoma. UVB rays cause sunburns, cataracts, and also contribute to skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids wear a broad spectrum, waterproof sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. It is important to check the ingredient label to be sure the sunscreen will protect the skin from both UVA and UVB sunrays. Your sunscreen should contain at least one of the following ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone.
Sunscreen will not be effective unless it is applied to all exposed skin. Sunscreens work best if they are applied 30 minutes before sun exposure. They should be reapplied every 2 hours and after any water exposure.
Sunscreen is not perfect. It is important to use other methods to protect the skin from sun exposure also. Wear hats, sunglasses and other sun protective clothing when outdoors. Stay in the shade during the peak hours of sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM.