Tips From Our Chattanooga Pediatric Urgent Care Facility

As an after-hours urgent care clinic in Chattanooga, we want to make sure that all of our patients, past, present, and future, are as healthy as possible at all times. It’s easy to remember to take precautions against illnesses such as the common cold or seasonal allergies, but one preventative care measure that needs to be adhered to during this time of year is just as important — avoiding sunburns. While a sunburn can just seem like a small annoyance, sunburns can actually be quite detrimental to the health of an individual, especially an individual who is under the age of 13. In today’s post, we are going to go over why it is important to avoid sunburns this summer and some of the steps that you, as a parent, can take to make sure that your little one is protected from the sun’s harsh rays as much as possible.

The Sun Isn’t Always Your Friend

If you ask most people, they’d probably give the sun a pretty positive review. After all, without the sun we would not have life on Earth as we know it today. While the sun has given us so much, it is also an entity that needs to be treated with respect. It has been known for decades that sun exposure can damage a person’s skin cells and increase the risk of skin cancer at any age. Recently, researchers have found that overexposure to the sun’s rays at a young age, and the resultant sunburn that typically follows, may be particularly dangerous. Receiving multiple sunburns while a youth means more time for additional sunburns later in life to build upon the damage caused by the first few. This leads to an increased risk factor for skin cancer. To make sure that your child is not prone to developing this increased chance of skin cancer, it is important for you to take the necessary steps in making sure that your child is protected from the sun when they venture outside.

How Do I Protect My Child From The Sun?

Even though it may seem like going up against the sun is a losing battle (it is pretty massive), a few simple steps can go a long way in making sure that your child is spared the worst of the effects that the sun can cause. Below, we’ve listed out a few things you can do to fight the sun’s harsh rays.

1. Sunscreen

The first widely available synthetic sunscreens were introduced to the market in the late 1920s. Sunscreen works to block or absorb some of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, helping to protect against sunburn when spending long amounts of time outdoors. Before you and your child head out, be sure to slather on some sunscreen. Even if you think you’ll be outside for just a few minutes, take some time to make sure that their face, ears, and the back of the neck are covered. These areas are some of the most prone to sunburn and are often overlooked.

2. Cover Up

Few things feel as good as feeling the sun splash across your skin when you are out at the pool or enjoying a local waterpark. For this reason, many parents will allow themselves and their children to spend most of the day in a bathing suit, a garment that does very little to protect a person from the sun. Instead, we suggest parents make sure their child takes a break every once in a while and covers up with a dedicated swim shirt or, if that is not available, take some time to sit under the shade of a tent or umbrella. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to relax and get out of the sun can be a great way to make sure that sunblock is still working and that a sunburn isn’t looming.

3. Wear a Hat

Although it may seem too simple, wearing a hat goes a long way in protecting the face from sun damage. While a simple baseball cap is effective in protecting the face, going the extra mile and donning a floppy sun hat will help to protect the ears and the back of the neck as well. Just a little bit of shade will go a long way in cutting out much of the harmful UV light that is the main contributor to the development of a sunburn.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post this month! We hope it was informative and that you learned a little something about reducing the chances that your child develops a sunburn. As a Chattanooga area after-hours children’s clinic, we make it our mission to spread healthy tips to the communities as often as possible.

If you would like to learn more about our clinic or if you are in need of our services, please visit our website or give us a call at 423-648-6483.