Fun in the Sun — Sun Protection Strategies

Summer provides ample opportunities for children and youth to play in the fresh air and discover the great outdoors. There is much fun to be had in the sun, but it’s important to remember sun safety. The American Camp Association® (ACA) provides tips from Linda Ebner Erceg, R.N., M.S., P.H.N., executive director of the Association of Camp Nurses, to help families brush up on sun safety:

  • Children should wear a sunscreen for minimum protection. Most experts recommend SPF 30, however some professionals do recommend using SPF with minimum coverage of 45.
  • Provide your child with clothing options that protect from harmful rays:
    • Wear a hat with at least a four-inch brim that circles the head or a flap that covers the neck.
    • Use UV-rated sunglasses. Overexposure to UV rays may cause glaucoma.
    • Remind your child to put sunscreen on his or her torso, too!
  • Cloudy days are not exempt. Families should remember to wear sunscreen and take precautions even when the sun isn’t shining brightly.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of melanoma by using this ABCD Watch:
    • Asymmetry — if folded in half, the skin mark doesn't match or is unequal in shape.
    • Border — the area has a scalloped or poorly circumscribed border.
    • Color Varies — the area has changed color or varies from one area to another. There may be shades of brown and black, or even red or blue.
    • Diameter — the area is larger than six millimeters (larger than the diameter of a pencil's eraser).

Sun overexposure doesn’t have to put a damper on summer fun! Remember: Sunburn is completely preventable. Taking preventative measures will help you and your children have a safe and happy summer outdoors.

For more tips and information on health and safety, families can visit, ACA’s family resource site. Families can search ACA’s Find a Camp database, which allows families to look for a camp based on region, activity, cultural focus, budget, session length, and much more! In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

Contact Public Relations at 765.349.3317 or to interview an ACA spokesperson or for more information about the camp experience. For customizable public service announcements or article reprints, visit our Media Center at

About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit