HANDS and Infant/Children UV Safety Guidelines

by Shaundra King

HANDS Supervisor

HANDS is an early childhood development program providing families with information about a variety of topics, including:

• Healthy pregnancy

• Caring for your child

• How to bond with your baby

• How to support a child with early experiences in life that supports the child’s lifetime brain development and emotional health

• Creating safe and healthy homes

Any parent/caregiver expecting a new baby or those enrolling before their child is 90 days old is eligible for HANDS services.  Services are always voluntary and free. Clark Co. HANDS serves families from Clark and Powell Co.  We can refer families outside of our service area to the provider in their community.

In honor of UV Safety Month, below are some guidelines for keeping your infant/child protected against UV rays.

For infants 6 months and younger, it is not recommended to use sunscreen, but to keep your baby in the shade as much as possible, or create your own shade with an umbrella, canopy or hood of a stroller. You should also dress your baby in sun protective clothing, such as a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt and pants. In addition, make sure you baby wears a wide brimmed hat. In addition to sun protection, make sure you baby does not get overheated and drink plenty of fluids. If baby is fussy, crying excessively, or has redness on exposed skin, take  him or her inside immediately.

For children 6 months and older, when applying sunscreen, apply 30 minutes before going out into the sun, and reapply every two hours and after swimming and sweating. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone use sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), has a SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant.

For more information about the HANDS program, you can contact the Clark County Health Department at 859-744-4482.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including Medical Nutrition Therapy (weight-loss counseling, diabetes management, etc.), Diabetes Classes, Diabetes Support Group, Diabetes Prevention Program, WIC, HANDS, family planning, and well child/immunizations.  For more information on all of our service, please call 859/744-4482, like us on Facebook, or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org.