Sun Safety and Skin Protection

Kids and Melanoma

Orange County is one of the sunniest places in California, with hundreds of sun days per year. With that comes the need for protection. Improper protection can increase risk for skin cancer. “People get skin cancers, the most serious being melanoma, because we get too much exposure to the sunlight,” says Dr. Leonard Sender. To ward off harmful UVA and UVB rays, use sunscreen. “Most people don’t put enough on,” explains Dr. Sender. “We recommend about an ounce for each area of exposed skin, i.e. leg or arm.”

Learn more about Kids and Melanoma.

Slop That Sunscreen On!

Did you know that as much as 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs by age 18? In recognition of Sun Safety Week, be sure to check out these useful guidelines to lessen the risk of sun damage.

Young kids on the sand at the beach

Sun Safety Tip Sheets

Download Sun Safety Tip Sheet: English & Spanish

Sunscreen should always be worn while outside, every day and all year long. Repeated and unprotected time spent under the sun can cause permanent damage to your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. The tips below can help everyone practice good sun safety habits.

  • Cover up. The sun is everywhere! Cover up as much as you can by wearing:
    • A wide brimmed hat for your head, ears and nose.
    • Sunglasses for your eyes
    • Dry, protective clothing for your body such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Apply sunscreen.
    • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go outside.
    • Apply sunscreen on exposed areas; your ears, nose, lips and feet.
    • Apply sunscreen SPF (Sun Protective Factor) of at least 15 that protects against UVA and UVB rays (broad spectrum).
    • Apply sunscreen only to infants who are over the age of 6 months. Keep newborns out of the sun.
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protective Factor) of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays (broad spectrum.)
    • Clothes with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), such as rash guards, are a great way to protect your skin and help reduce sunscreen misuse when you are in the water.
  • Limit sun time. Try to limit your time in the sun during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM and seek shade as much as possible.
  • Check your medications. Some medications can cause you to become more sensitive to the sun.

When an accident happens, CHOC is ready with the only pediatric-dedicated emergency department and trauma center in Orange County. For more important tips to prevent injuries in children and teens, visit