Sun safety tips for families this Memorial Day

When you're by the water, light reflects, causing more intense burns. But, burns are all avoidable, as long as you keep your family safe and use sunscreen.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For many of us, Memorial Day weekend is full of barbequing, boating and being outside with family and friends.

With so many activities, sunscreen and reapplying it can be easily forgotten; however, it’s not a step you want to skip, especially when it comes to your kids.

Related: Freebies and deals for the military on Memorial Day weekend

School is out and kids, like Jackson and Hayes, spend days outdoors, swinging on the playground and swimming laps in the pool, but while they’re out soaking up the sun, their skin is exposed to harmful UV rays.

“As soon as we get to the pool, before we do anything, we put on sunscreen. [Jackson] even knows not to go in until the sunscreen is ready,” said Knoxville parent Sally Green.

To keep her sons safe, Green slathers on the SPF 50. It’s a smart and responsible step that Dr. Kelly Patterson with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital recommends.

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With so many activities, sunscreen and reapplying it can be easily forgotten; however, it’s not a step you wan to skip, especially when it comes to your kids.

There are two main styles of sunscreen: cream and spray. Doctors recommend using the cream type because it gives better coverage. However, if you do choose to use the spray style, make sure you rub it in well.

Doctors say to use broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It not only keeps kids from burning now, it saves them from health scares down the road.

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There are two main styles of sunscreens, cream and spray. Doctors recommend using the cream type because it gives better coverage. However, if you do choose to use the spray style, make sure you rub it in well.

“A single blistering burn as a child can double your risk of melanoma, which is severe, life threatening skin cancer, later in life,” said Patterson.

For the most protection, start using sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside. Once you’re outside, keep the sunscreen nearby.
“You need to reapply that sunscreen every two hours. If you’re in the water, or if they’re toweling off frequently, you need to apply it more frequently. In younger infants we recommend that you avoid the ingredient oxybenzone,” said Patterson.

When you’re by the water, light reflects, causing more intense burns. Burns are all avoidable, as long as you keep your family safe and use sunscreen.

If anyone in your family gets a sunburn, doctors recommend immediately getting out of the sun, taking a cool shower, putting on lotion and drinking a lot of water. If you get a bad burn that covers more than 20 percent of your body, doctors recommend going to the hospital.

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