Your Guide to Sunscreen for All Ages

by Lindsay Hutton

Follow these important guidelines for protecting every member of your family from the sun's harmful rays, so you can enjoy your summertime fun.

In This Article:

Protecting your child

Do you know what to look for in a sunscreen? Whether your little one has fair or dark skin, the right sunscreen is essential to help protect against sunburn and harmful UVA and UVB rays. Follow these important guidelines for protecting every member of your family from the sun's harmful rays, so you can enjoy your summertime fun.

Why Protect Against the Sun?
Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is associated with severe sunburns often occurring before the age of 20. Therefore, protecting your child against sunburns early on in life is essential. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is important to protect your family's skin from both types of harmful rays:

UVA Rays
UVA rays pass through the ozone layer, and account for 95 percent of UV radiation that reaches the Earth. They can pass through glass and windows, and penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays. UVA rays are a main contributor to skin aging and wrinkling, and they play a role in, and may even initiate, skin cancer.

UVB Rays
UVB rays are also dangerous, and are the main cause of skin reddening and sunburns. UVB rays do not penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays, and do not pass through glass or windows (unlike UVA rays, which can pass through glass). UVB rays mainly cause damage to the superficial layers, and also contribute to cataracts, immune system damage, and skin cancer.

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