Preventing Sunburn for Young Children

No matter the age, everyone needs protection from the sun. Harmful UV rays can cause sunburn, which increases the risk of melanoma or skin damage. With children, their skin is often more delicate and more susceptible to burning. There are a few ways to help prevent sunburn in children, but AFC Urgent Care Waltham is available for treatment. We want all patients to be safe and healthy this summer. Visit our center for treatment of injuries or diagnosis of illnesses

Ways to Prevent Sunburn

Sun exposure is essential to our well-being. Vitamin D and calcium make our bones stronger and help us feel healthier. Sun exposure increases our body’s vitamin D production, but it does not take a lot of time to get the dose we need. Too much exposure, or exposure without protection, can lead to skin and eye damage, impacting our immune system, and eventually, melanoma. 

No matter your natural skin color, everyone can get sunburn and be affected by UV rays. 


Sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin while outside all day in the summer. All children should wear an SPF 30 or higher every single day, no matter their skin tone. The sunscreen should be broad-spectrum to help protect against UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, if you are spending time at the beach, the sunscreen should be water-resistant to stay on while in the water. Reapply at least every two hours, and more frequently if in the pool or ocean. 

Cover the skin

Certain clothing for children is made with built-in sun protection. You can also put your child in clothing that is not see-through to help protect their skin. Babies under six months old cannot be protected with sunscreen, so the best way to protect their skin is with shade. Put them in wide-brimmed hats and keep them out of the sun as much as possible. 

If it’s not too hot out, put your children in long-sleeves. If it is hot out, try to bring a pop-up tent or umbrella to give your children a break from the sun when they need it. 

Protect your eyes

Burned corneas are completely possible when spending time in the sun. It’s just as important to protect your eyes as it is your skin. Damage to the eyes at a young age can lead to cataracts later in life. Wear sunglasses that are 100% UV protection. 

Avoid peak times

The sun is at its peak between 10 AM to 4 PM. If possible, avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors at this time. If not, be sure to reapply sunscreen frequently. It is possible to get sunburn even when it is cloudy or overcast out. UV rays are able to go through the clouds, so sunscreen is important every day.