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Children in the sun

Did you know?

  • Over half of Ontario children spend at least two hours in the summer sun.
  • Children’s eyes have large pupils and clear lenses, allowing a lot of sunlight to enter.
  • UV rays can harm the eyes at any time of day and all year round, even when it’s cloudy.

Sun exposure and your skin & eyes

Exposure to UV rays can lead to:

  • Skin cancer
  • Eye lesions
  • Skin damage
  • Cataracts
  • Sunburns
  • Retinal Burns

Children are often outside when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are the strongest.

Enjoy the sun safely. Protect your skin and eyes.

Time of Day: If you can, limit time in the sun when the UV Index is 3 or higher, usually between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shade: Seek shade or make shade by using an umbrella, a UV protective tent or pop-up shade shelter. Keep babies younger than 1 year of age out of direct sunlight.

Cover Up: Wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible or UV-protective clothing. Wear a wide brimmed hat or baseball cap with flaps that cover the head, neck and ears.

Sunscreen: Apply plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, labelled ‘broad spectrum’ and ‘water resistant’. Reapply when needed (especially after swimming, sweating, or towelling). Use a sunscreen lip balm. Sunscreen may be used on babies over six months of age; avoid the mouth and eye areas.

Sunglasses: Wear close fitting/wrap-around sunglasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection. Children’s and babies’ sunglasses should be unbreakable.

Things to avoid

Children and teens should avoid getting a tan or a sunburn.

Don’t expose children to UV rays to meet vitamin D needs. Use food or supplements instead.