SIU School of Medicine

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Department of Pediatrics


Summer Skin Care

Everyone needs to be protected from the sun's rays.  Your child is especially at risk, and he or she doesn't have to have sunburn to be harmed by the sun.  The sun is harmful both when it is shining brightly, as well as when it is cloudy or hazy.  The sun's Ultraviolet rays are able to penetrate through cloud cover.  The types of rays that cause the most damage are the Ultraviolet (UV).  The UV rays that cause skin damage are UVA and UVB.  The UVB rays are those that are largely responsible for sunburns.  UVA rays are associated with wrinkles and sun cancer.  The effects of sun exposure build up over time. 

To prevent sun exposure, keep your child out of the sun during the peak times of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Always use sunscreen.  Sunscreen is safe, and a good way to prevent UV exposure and skin damage.  Sunscreens with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15 should be used.   The SPF is the measure of time it would take an individual to burn without sunscreen versus the time to burn with sunscreen. For example, if an individual would typically burn after 20 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 would mean that it would take 300 minutes (or 5 hours) to get sunburned.  However, sunscreen typically only is effective for about 2-3 hours after application, which means that it needs to be re-applied at least every 2-3 hours.  It should be applied more often if a child is sweating or swimming a lot.  Sunscreen should initially be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure. 

An SPF is only an indicator of the effectiveness of blocking UVB rays.  Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 block 95% of UVB rays, those with an SPF of 30 block 97% of UVB rays, and those with SPF of 45 block 98 % of UVB rays.  Sunscreens with an SPF of greater than 45 are only marginally better than SPF 45.   Look for a sunscreen that is marked "broad spectrum."  This indicates that there is some UVA protection as well.  It is harder to determine how much UVA is blocked by typical sunscreens.  Barrier creams that include zinc oxide and titanium do a better job of blocking UVA rays, and now come in a variety of fun colors.

Additionally, you can dress your child in light weight clothing that is long sleeved with long pants to block exposure.  There is now apparel available that it designed specifically to provide UV protection.  Using a beach umbrella or something similar will help protect from UV rays.  Further protection can be obtained from wide brim hats and sunglasses. 

Sunscreen should not normally be used on infants less than 6 months of age.  These infants should be kept out of direct sunlight.  If adequate shade or protective clothing is not available, sunscreen can be applied to small areas of the body like the face or hands.


Turn off the TV!

Go ahead and do it--- encourage family games, outdoor play and exercise.

TV viewing is to be discouraged in those less than 2 years old. There is no evidence that educational videos for toddlers aid in learning.

The AAP recommends limiting all media time, including computers, video games, music devices and television, to 2 hours per day or less.

As for adolescents, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation has shown that media use increases substantially when children hit 11-14 years old. Total media exposure can increase to 11 hr 53 minutes per day! “Old” and “new” media can have an impact on many adolescent health concerns including aggressive behavior, risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, disordered eating, and sleep disorders.

Special mention must be made about a television in the bedroom. According to the AAP, televisions are present in bedrooms in:

  • 19% of infants

  • 29% of 2-3 yr olds

  • 43% of 4-6 yr olds

  • 68% 8 & over

Children with a television in the bedroom increase their television viewing by 1- 1.5 hours per day. Furthermore, their risk of obesity increases 31% and their risk of smoking doubles. For adolescents, this increased viewing time leads to less physical activity, poorer dietary habits, fewer family meals and poor school performance. 


Walk-In Acute Care Clinic

To Our Patients and Their Families:


The SIU Pediatrics Primary Care Clinic offers early morning walk-in appointments for acute illnesses beginning at 7:30 am, Monday through Friday.  Examples of acute illnesses include but are not limited to the following:


Ear infections

Pink Eye

Skin Infections

Urinary Tract Infections




Sore Throat



Flu-Like Symptoms

Sinus Infections

Strep Throat


Check-In for patients and their families will open at 7:30 AM.  Patients checked in prior to
10:00 am are guaranteed to be seen that morning.  These patients will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis. The walk-in clinics will be staffed by SIU Ambulatory pediatricians; however, if you would prefer to see your own physician, or have a pre-scheduled appointment for any reason call our office at 217-545-8000 during regular business hours.

There are conditions that will be inappropriate for our walk-in clinics.  Patients suffering from life-threatening conditions should call 911 immediately or present to an Emergency Department.  Examples of emergencies include but are not limited to the following:

Broken Bones

Loss of Consciousness

Chest Pain


Cuts or Lacerations Requiring Medical Attention


Head Injury

Severe Burns

Inability to Breathe


We will not be able to accommodate new or follow-up care of on-going or chronic medical problems or behavioral/mental health issues during our walk-in clinics. Your physician will continue to have regularly scheduled clinics to ensure appropriate evaluation of these conditions. 

During our walk in clinics, if your child has a condition for which we feel we are unable to provide appropriate care, we will ensure that more appropriate care is arranged. 


Thank you for choosing SIU Pediatrics.