Methodology | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions, Environmental Working Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, EIN 52-2148600. Seek shade when possible, and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand. Make shade. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can result in a painful sunburn. The best form of sun protection is a hat and shirt. Do not mistake dark-tinted sunglasses as having more UV protection. Use the stroller’s canopy or hood. Don’t combine sunscreen with repellent. Certain sunscreens have FDA-approved New Drug Applications.
Products may not be identified as “sunblocks” or claim instant protection or protection for more than two hours without reapplying. Why? Their skin is not yet protected by melanin. It can also lead to more serious health problems, including skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye damage, and immune system suppression. Choose sunglasses labeled with a UVA/UVB rating of 100% to get the most UV protection.

By following some simple steps, you can still enjoy your time in the sun and protect yourself from overexposure. Send a sunscreen to day care and school. TIPS: Sunscreen Should Be Your Last Resort Wear Clothes.

Download the Healthy Living App Today, EWG provides information on sunscreen products from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. Avoid midday sun. Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun—such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brim hats.

Environmental Working Group. Take walks in the early morning or late afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were more than 80,422 people diagnosed with melanoma of the skin—the most serious form of skin cancer—in 2015 alone. Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower. People of all skin colors are at risk for this damage. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Check your skin regularly for new moles that are tender or growing. Certain sunglasses can help protect your eyes. Generously Apply Sunscreen. Test sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it. Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. Choose a product based on your own skin coloration, anticipated time outside, shade and cloud cover. Apply more often if you’re swimming or sweating.

Your doctor can test your level and recommend supplements if you are low in this vital nutrient. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends these action steps to help you and your family be Sun Safe. FDA is proposing to update the requirements for sunscreens to make sure they’re safe and effective for regular, lifelong use and provide the protections that consumers expect.

About 4.3 million people are treated for basal cell cancer and squamous cell skin cancer in the United States every year, according to a 2014 report from the Office of the Surgeon General. Be Safe in the Sun In this section you can learn about some of the damaging effects that too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure can have on the skin.
Help raise sun safety awareness for grades K-12, educators and the general public. Share EWG’s safe sunscreen tips and product suggestions with your child’s school and caregiver. Even if you wear contact lenses, wear sunglasses that offer UV protection. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, reducing burn risk. Recent medical research shows that it is important to protect children and young adults from overexposure to UV radiation. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely. And skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. It’s Important to Read Sunscreen Labels. You'll also find tips to help you protect yourself and your family from getting too much sun. Products that pass FDA’s broad spectrum requirements can be labeled “broad spectrum.”, Sunscreens that are not broad spectrum or that lack an SPF of at least 15 must carry a warning: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. The FDA is committed to ensuring that safe and effective sunscreen products are available for consumer use. (Broad spectrum sunscreens offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays, two types of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.). Although UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn, both UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin cancer. Children should wear sunglasses that indicate the UV protection level. An average-size adult or child needs at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount it takes to fill a shot glass, to evenly cover the body.). Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. Ask your primary care doctor how often you should see a dermatologist. They protect skin from harmful UVA radiation. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. Remember, people of all skin colors are potentially at risk for sunburn and other harmful effects of UV radiation, so always protect yourself.

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D, a hormone manufactured by the skin in the presence of sunlight. Reapply often. The best defense against getting too much harmful ultraviolet radiation is a combination of protective clothing, shade and good timing. Don’t fall for high SPF labels. Be good role models for your teens – let them see that you protect yourself from the sun.

Make sure yours offers broad spectrum protection. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants as a last resort when caretakers can’t find shade. Ask your child’s doctor to suggest a product less likely to irritate your child’s skin. Generously apply about one ounce of sunscreen to cover all exposed skin 15 minutes before going outside. Pick a sunscreen with an  SPF between 15 and 50+.

Look for products with zinc oxide, 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. Contact Us | FDA is also proposing raising the maximum proposed SPF value from SPF 50+ to SPF 60+. Download the Healthy Living App Today, Eight Little-Known Facts About Sunscreens, EWG's methodology for assessing sunscreens. Some child care facilities provide sunscreen, but you can buy your own to make sure it’s safe and effective. We give the best ratings to products that provide broad spectrum, long-lasting protection, with ingredients that pose fewer health concerns when absorbed by the body. Sunscreen products in forms including wipes, towelettes, body washes, and shampoos that are marketed without an FDA-approved application remain subject to regulatory action. Keep infants in the shade – they lack the tanning pigments, known as melanin, that protect skin. Limiting your time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense. No sunscreen completely blocks UV radiation, and other protections are needed, such as protective clothing, sunglasses, and staying in the shade. Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. The darkness of the lens does not indicate its ability to shield your eyes from UV rays. Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing to evaluate sunscreen products to ensure that sunscreen active ingredients are safe and effective and that (among other things) available sunscreens help protect consumers from sunburn and, for broad spectrum products with SPF values of at least 15, from skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun when used as directed with other sun protection measures. If you can’t sit in a shady spot, use an umbrella. Apply sunscreen liberally to all uncovered skin, especially your nose, ears, neck, hands, feet, and lips (but avoid putting it inside your mouth and eyes). While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous.

(The FDA regulates these products only if they are intended to be used for medical purposes. Toy sunglasses may not have UV protection, so be sure to look for the UV protection label. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella or take a canopy to the beach. Slop on sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if your child is playing in the water or sweating a lot. Others are marketed under the FDA’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drug Review. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants provide the best protection from UV rays – and they don’t coat your skin with goop. United States Environmental Protection Agency, You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. When you take your baby outside: Sunscreens are an essential part of a day in the sun. An official website of the United States government. dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats. When you take your baby outside: Cover them up with protective clothing that’s tightly woven but loose fitting, and a sun hat. Reflection from bright surfaces like concrete... Use These Sun-Safe Strategies. Get Vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Don't seek the sun. When using sunglasses: This is especially important when doing activities around or on water because much of the UV comes from light reflected off the water’s surface.

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