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The Be Well Podcast - Summer Safety with Cheryl de Silva, MD

Listen in or read from the partial transcript below as Cheryl de Silva, MD, Pediatrician at Skagit Regional Health, discusses ways to keep your kids safe and healthy in the sun this summer.

Cheryl de Silva, MD

Deborah Howell (Host): Well, summer's right around the corner. And every parent is always trying to do their best to keep their kids safe while they're enjoying their summer vacation. I'm joined today by Dr. Cheryl de Silva, a pediatrician with Skagit Regional Health. And she's here today to talk with us about summer safety. This is Be Well, the podcast from Skagit Regional Health. I'm Deborah Howell. Dr. de Silva, what a pleasure to have you on with us today.

Dr. Cheryl de Silva: Thank you so much. I'm so glad to be here.

Deborah Howell (Host): And, you know, you can almost smell the chlorine, right? So what are some tips to keep our kids sun-safe this summer?

Dr. Cheryl de Silva: Well, that's a great question. And it's one of the questions that come up the most when we talk about summer safety with our parents. I think one of the questions that people often ask about and we talk about is the application of sunscreen, and that's one of the biggest tips that we can give to our parents. When it comes to sunscreen, one of the questions that come up is what should we use, when should we use it and how? And one of the things that I would say is that we want to keep reapplying, we want to use it as often as possible, and we should start even as young as six months old.

So for our young kids under six months, one thing that we can do is make sure that they're dressed appropriately, wearing long-sleeved clothing. And even for older kids. Wearing a hat with a large brim to protect us from the sun. And then when it comes to what else we can do is looking at the type of sunscreen that we're using. So with that, we say, "What type of SPF do we want to use?" And the minimum that we want to have there is an SPF of 30 or more. And for reapplication, I would suggest doing that every two hours.

Deborah Howell (Host): Can I ask you something about sunscreen? They say after 50, it doesn't really matter. Fifty is the same as 60 or 70 or 150. What would you say?

Dr. Cheryl de Silva: I would agree. To a certain level, there's only so much UV protection that we can have on our bodies. The minimum is more important than the maximum and that's where I would focus. And that being said, there are different times of the day when we're more prone to UV exposure as well. So, we want to make sure that we're staying out of the sun during the sunniest parts of the day, if possible. Although often those are the times that we want to be outside. So, you know, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We don't want to be out there when it's too dark. But if we are enjoying the sun, we want to keep it nice and safe.

To listen to the rest of the podcast or read the full transcript, visit here.