(KUTV) — Protecting your skin from the sun begins as a baby.
As part of National Skin Cancer Awareness month, we explain how a special type of clothing can help protect your little one this summer.
“A sunburn before the age of one more than doubles your risk for melanoma,” said Dr. Dylan Alston, a Dermatologist at Intermountain Riverton Hospital’s Southridge Clinic.
For young children whose skin is more sensitive to the sun, shade, wide brim hats, and UV protective clothing is a great solution. When shopping, you can find out if an item of clothing is UV protective by looking at the tag.
“We recommend UV protective clothing of 50+. What that means is that the clothing will protect the skin 50x longer than if we weren’t wearing clothing at all,” Alston said.
In contrast to UV protective clothing, a white cotton shirt proves a UPF of approximately seven. If that shirt gets wet, the UV protection factor drops to three. So, it’s important to make sure the clothing your child wears in the sun, is specifically UV protective.
The good news about UV protective clothing is that it doesn’t have to be expensive.
“UV protective clothing is available at our common retailers. It’s available at Target, Old Navy, Scheels,” Alston said.
Other UPF clothing brands include:
- UV Skins
- Land’s End
- Under Armour
In addition to clothing, don’t forget sunblock for kids six months and older.
“We always recommend at least SPF 30 with regular reapplication,” Alston said.
In babies, especially those younger than six months, sunburn can lead to dehydration, fever, and even heat stroke. Parents need to make sure babies are staying hydrated and cool all summer long.