Kids love to play outdoors in the summer, but overexposure to the sun and air pollution can sometimes pose health risks. So heres a few simple steps you can take to protect kids - and yourself - while still having fun in the sun
Getting too much of the sun's UV radiation can cause sunburns, but can also lead to skin cancer, cataracts, and premature aging of the skin. Before going out, check your local UV Index on the EPA's website. If it's "high" or "very high," limit outdoor activities between 10 and 4 pm, when the sun is most intense.
When possible, plan activities in shaded areas. Require hats and sunglasses and always use sunscreen twenty minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
Because kids are so active outdoors, inhaling smog from cars, power plants or refineries may increase in the summer. You can check the Air Quality Index at airnow.gov.
Along with sunscreen and limiting outdoor activities during peak exposure hours, be sure to have plenty of fluids on hand to keep everyone hydrated. With a little preparation, you can be safe and still have fun in the summer sun.