Ask Dr. Swanson: Sun safety

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson joins the KING 5 newsdesk to talk sunburns and the importance of sunscreen.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s hospital, shares tips for keeping children safe in the sunshine.

Background
- In 2013, Washington was in the top 10 for highest skin cancer rates
- One-third of U.S. 14- to 17-year-olds had a sunburn during the past year
- On May 4, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that allows children to bring and apply sunscreen at school
- Majority of sun exposure and sun burns are during childhood

Sunscreen tips
- Send your kids to school with sunscreen and make sure they use it
- Use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF over 30
- Apply sunscreen as directed on the bottle
- Look for sunscreens that include zinc or titanium and avobenzone

'Treating' Sunburns
- Babies with a sunburn – talk to doctor. Older children – call if there is blistering, pain, or fever.
- Use cool water to help your child's skin feel better.
- Give acetaminophen to those younger than 6 months to relieve painful sunburns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is ok for older children.
- Keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn is fully healed.
- Give your child water to replace lost fluids.
- Only use medicated lotions if your child's doctor approves it.

Resources
- Washington Senate Bill 5404 – Permits the possession and application of topical sunscreen products at schools.
- CDC resources: Sun-protective behavior rates / Skin cancer rates by state
- Healthy Children: Sun safety: Information for parents about sunburn and sunscreen
- Seattle Mama Doc blog and podcast: Be sun smart – Improving childhood sun exposure
- Seattle Mama Doc blog: Very sunny out: 5 tips for safe sunscreen use

© 2017 KING-TV


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