Keeping your child safe in the sun

CHARLESTON ,SC- It's that time of year where the weather is just right to spend more time outside doing activities.

just a little fun in the sun without the proper protection could lead to long term damage especially on a child's sensitive skin.

Sunscreen is the first line of defense for kids like 2 1/2 year old Savannah.

"I never thought it was important until I had a child now I put it on myself because of her, said parent Robin Harper.

"The best thing is to apply it early before going out in the sun 30 minutes prior to going out,"Dr. Benji Rodgers said.

Dr. Rodgers with Sweetgrass Pediatrics says 30 minutes because it takes 15 minutes for sunscreen to absorb into the skin.

He says its also important to use a sunscreen with an SPF or skin protection factor of at least 30 or higher and he says don't let a higher SPF let you think it protects longer you still have to reapply every one and a half to two hours.

Dr. Rodgers says don't be stingy with the sunscreen slather on enough for optimal protection.

"That bottle should not last you the entire summer it should not last you at all if you have a whole family of four going to the beach or a picnic.

He says don't forget to target the areas of skin that get the most sun exposure like the top of the ears and your face.

"If a child is 6 months and above put it all over less than 6 months you use more clothes and coverings," Rodgers said.

Dr. Rodgers says its also good for a child to wear a wide brim hat and sunglasses that say they have a 99 percent UV or UVR protection.

"The beauty of protecting your child now from too much sun exposure is that your going to protect them 20 or 30 years from now," Rodgers said.