What is the appropriate use of sunscreen for infants and children?
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The risk and benefits of sunscreen use for children under the age of 6 months are unknown. To avoid sunburn, infants should be kept out of direct sunlight and be covered with protective clothing (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, expert opinion). For children aged >6 months, a liberal amount of water-resistant, child-safe, broadspectrum sunscreen (protecting from both UVA and UVB), with SPF [equal to or greater than] 15 should be rubbed well into all exposed skin before going outside (SOR: B, case-control and extrapolation of studies). Effectiveness may be increased if sunscreen is applied 30 minutes before exposure and reapplied every 2 hours, particularly if swimming (SOR: C, expert opinion). Tightly woven protective clothing, a wide-brimmed cap, and eye protection should also be used whenever possible.
Journal of Family Practice, 55(5) 2006: 437+.
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