Skip to content
A - Z Ind e x

Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222


Sunscreen can protect you from the dangers of UV rays. Follow these tips for safe use and application:

  • Be sure to use the product as directed on the label.

  • Keep insect repellents and sunscreens locked out of sight and reach of children. IPC gets many calls every summer regarding children who have ingested sunscreen, likely because it often has a sweet, fruity odor. Luckily, a small ingestion of sunscreen is minimally toxic.

  • Don’t let children handle the bottles; apply to your own hands first, then put it on the child.

  • Do not use on wounds or broken skin.

  • When using sprays, do not spray directly onto the face.  Spray it into your hands, and then apply to face to avoid getting it into the eyes.

  • Insect repellent: concentrations of up to 30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) have been shown to be safe for use on children older than 2 months. Picaridin is another effective insect repellent.

Choose sunscreen labeled "broad spectrum," meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays with a minimum of SPF 15. Reapply every 2 hours that you are outside, and choose a water-resistant formula if you will be swimming or playing sports.