If I told you I have had a few sunburns in my life, it would be the understatement of the century.
I grew up in a Navy family which means I almost always lived where it was sunny and close to water. After my dad retired, we lived in the Coachella Valley for about 4 years. Later in life, I briefly returned to the Coachella Valley for another 7 years.
I used to love the sweet coconut smell of Hawaiian Tropic on my skin. If there was a guideline, I did the exact opposite. I wanted that deep dark Palm Springs spring break tan. This often resulted in me getting pretty severe sunburns.
Knock on wood, it hasn’t bit me in the butt yet. I have watched friends from that time in my life battle skin cancer.
So, how do we let our kids have fun outside without the risks? How much sun do they need?
The Vitamin D Council states it takes about the half of the time it takes for you to burn to obtain enough Vitamin D. This is about 15 minutes for fair skinned individuals and up to a few hours for very dark skinned individuals.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has the following recommendations:
- seek shade, trees, umbrellas, etc
- avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
- avoid tanning beds
- wear coverings i.e., clothing, hats, sunglasses
- use UVA/UVB 15 SPF sunscreen or higher sunscreen daily
- use water resistant UVA/UVB 30 SPF sunscreen for extended exposure
- apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside
- reapply sunscreen every 2 hours during exposure
That being said, I think tomorrow I just might hit the beach. Santa Cruz is calling my name.