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Sunscreen

Although the best choices for sun protection are to stay in the shade and to cover up, sunscreen is helpful too. Here is a checklist for effective sunscreen use. Be sure to teach your children these tips for getting the most from a sunscreen.

  • Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that gives protection from both UVA & UVB rays. Look for a product with the Canadian Dermatology Association logo on it. If you work outdoors or are going to be outside for longer than 2 hours, a SPF of 30 might be a better choice. (Note: sunscreens are not recommended for infants under six months of age.)
  • Read and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the bottle or tube.
  • Always test for allergic reaction when first using a sunscreen. Apply a small amount on the inner forearm for 2 - 3 days in a row. Check for any skin reaction. 
  • Apply 20 to 30 minutes before going out to allow active ingredients to reach the protection level. If you forget to apply sunscreen before going outdoors, do so as soon as you remember, it’s never too late!
  • Apply a generous amount to dry clean skin. Don't forget ears, nose, back of neck and backs of legs. Also use an SPF 30 sunscreen lip balm for lips and reapply it hourly. 
  • Reapply every 2 hours and after sweating or swimming. This is for all sunscreens (including waterproof varieties) so that they are as effective as they can be. 
  • If applying more than one substance (e.g. insect repellent) on the skin, always put the sunscreen product on first and wait 20 minutes after applying. Then apply the second substance (insect repellents are not recommended for under age 2).
  • Use sunscreen even on cloudy, hazy or foggy days. The sun's rays can pass through light cloud, mist and fog. Ultraviolet radiation can also reflect off bright surfaces such as sand, cement or snow. 
  • Do not use after the expiry date and do not store in hot temperatures (in the car or in a beach bag). Both cause sunscreen to deteriorate, meaning it will not provide enough protection.
  • Remember, no sunscreen provides 100 % protection. So apply it and then cover up with a hat, long-sleeve shirt and pants. 
  • Be a role model!
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