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Ways to protect your children from the sun

Ways to protect your children from the sun
Ways to protect your children from the sun 03:12

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - As we enjoy this string of sunny days and head toward summer, doctors want parents to pay attention to what they put on their children.

Not only sunscreen but also clothing and shoes.

Let's start with clothing that protects from the sun. It goes by a lot of names but it's designed to help block out UV rays.

"I'm not sure anything that says UV clothing is necessarily good. So, you want to use the brands that are recognizable," according to Allegheny Health Network pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Preiss.

And it's more than just pool wear.

"People that are hiking and running and spending the day at the zoo, it's a very reasonable option."

Dr. Preiss says UV clothing is not an alternative to sunscreen.

"I think it may be an alternative to applying sunscreen over and over and over again. But I still think you need to use sunscreen," Dr. Preiss said.

Do the kids need sunscreen daily when they are going out to play?

"If they're going to be out for a prolonged period, longer than 15 or 20 minutes, I would definitely have sunscreen on your child."

What about the SPF rating?

"Once you get above 30 or 40, there's not much benefit. It's about putting it on repeatedly," the doctor said.

If your child will wear them, sunglasses can be a major help as well.

"I think it's reasonable to have sunglasses on kids and children." And she said nothing beats a hat.

As for their feet?

"Whatever is comfortable and is going to prevent the fall."

Dr. Preiss said besides the obvious tennis shoes, there are athletic sandals like Crocs.

"They have foot coverings and toe coverings. That's very good. And they're comfortable and easy to wear," Dr. Preiss said.

But she said the flip-flops are a no-go.

"I think maybe on the beach for a half second or the pool for a half second. But flip-flops are actually a fall hazard for people, cradle to grave."

Back to sunscreen, Dr. Preiss added those products that are SPF 50 to 100 are more toxic and should not be used on children.

Can adults use those more intense screens?

Adults can tolerate the chemicals better, but they also tend to have a false sense of security in that you figure, 'Oh, I'm wearing 50+ and it won't wear off.'

Sunscreen still needs to be reapplied after a few hours.

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