As a parent it is important to protect your children from the sun’s harmful UV rays; overexposure to sun early in life could increase their chances of skin cancer later on. There are a number of ways you can do this such as covering them in sunscreen with a high SPF. However, doing only this is not enough to give your kids total sun protection. Your child’s head is the area most prone to sun exposure and often difficult to apply sunscreen lotion. This is when sun protection clothing such as a hat is crucial on sunny days.
Just like grown-ups, your kids also need some sun exposure as it is the best source for vitamin D, essential for keeping our immune system and bones healthy. However, too much exposure to the sun can also cause a lot of damage to the body especially to the skin. It is estimated that 80% of sun exposure is experienced during childhood. This doubles the risk for your little ones to have melanoma later in life. Children don’t care about the health risks associated with UV rays as long as they’re having fun in the sun. Hence, it is your task as a responsible parent to prevent your kids from this danger. Highlighted in this article are some helpful and important tips to sun safety for kids.
Limit your kids’ exposure to the sun
Outdoor activities are essential for children’s growth and development, but playing in extreme heat can also be dangerous for your kids. Therefore, you should advise your kids to stay out of the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Teach your children to stay in places with lots of shade and avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun. Take note that UV rays can still reach your kids’ skin even in the shade. So, if they are playing outdoors when the sun is at its peak, be sure to apply sunscreen lotion, not forgetting their shoulders, nose, ears and feet, with a high SPF level. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella just in case you can’t find shade.
Sun protective clothing
One of the best ways to protect your children from harmful damage is letting them wear sun protection clothing. This protective clothing comes in various styles and designs. There are rash shirts for outdoor swimming, shoes and sun protection accessories. Be sure to choose sun protection clothing made of tightly woven and cotton-made fabric that is comfortable for your kids. Additionally, make sure the clothes aren’t too loose or too tight to allow proper air circulation. Dark-coloured sun protection clothing such as long sleeves and trousers are also necessary for overall protection.
Apply sunscreen lotion properly
When using sunscreen lotion for additional protection against the sun, you should learn when and how to apply it. Generously slather sunscreen lotion with SPF 30 or higher at least 20 to 30 minutes before your kids go outdoors. Reapply the lotion every 2 to 3 hours or after swimming/sweating. Choose a sunscreen lotion that is appealing to kids such as the colourful and scented ones. The colourful lotion makes it easier to identify which parts of your kid’s body aren’t covered or applied well. Most importantly, keep in mind that sunscreen lotion only filters the UV rays and it doesn’t completely block it out. Therefore, you need to consider other sun safety precautions as well.
Let your kids wear sun protection hats
Sun protection hats such as bucket hats and caps help protect your children’s neck, face and ears from the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure to choose a hat size that is proportional to the head of your child. This way, it can provide enough shade across the neck and facial areas of your child’s head. Take note that most children dislike wearing hats or caps at first. That’s why you need to be persistent in teaching them that a cap is an essential part of their outdoor routine.
Be a good example to your child
You can help support your children in protecting themselves against the sun’s harmful UV rays by setting a good example to them. If your kids see you following all the safety rules, they will follow suit. Emphasise to your children how important it is to stay protected when going out in the sun. Remember, you are your children’s role model. They will imitate everything you do. So, if you follow the sun safety precautions, then your kids will most likely follow them too.
Taking heed of these important tips to sun safety for kids can help minimise UV exposure. It can also help prevent skin damage and other serious skin issues later in life. So, be sure to make sun protection a habit not just during the hot summer season but year-round. Parents play an important role in ensuring their children establish sun safety habits early in life.