Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Sun
It might feel like every time summer comes along; us parents are inundated with advice on how to keep your children safe in the sun. However, it’s essential that we know all these tips, as sunburn and sunstroke are very serious in children and may even require hospital treatment.
So, as much as we’ve heard sun tips before, these yearly reminders are never any less important for your kid’s health. Here are just a few of the most important tips we’ve learned over the years:
Make Sure Your Child Wears Sunglasses
While we might think of protecting their skin in the sun, many of us forget that our children’s eyes need protection too. Which is where sunglasses come in – not just a fashionable accessory for adults, sunglasses will block out harmful rays that might affect your child’s vision in the future.
Now, every parent knows how difficult it is to make our kids wear anything that they don’t want to. So, to ensure your child will wear their sunglasses, it’s essential that you find a pair that they like. If you’re not sure what to go for, something like the junior Ray-Ban Aviators, which are unisex and customizable, are a good place to start.
Hats Are Important Too!
Just like sunglasses, hats are important tools for blocking out the sun. Hats are particularly useful, as they cover your child’s sensitive scalp, which is hard to cover with sunscreen and will burn easily.
Again, like sunglasses, you’ll need a hat that your child likes and wants to wear. If they like a particular TV show, movie or sports team, you could buy them a hat that represents one of these. Also, remember to bring a spare hat wherever you go, as these are easily lost – especially at a busy beach or pool.
Sunscreen is Essential
If your child is playing outdoors, it doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or overcast, it’s essential for your child to wearing sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or higher. Make sure that their sunscreen is applied evenly all over with particular care taken on the shoulders, nose, cheeks, ears and tops of their feet.
It’s also important that you reapply sunscreen every few hours. Even if the brand you use says it lasts all day, you should still reapply for extra protection.
Watch Out for Water and Sweat
We all know to use a water-resistant sunscreen if our child is playing in a pool or in the sea. However, many of us can fail to keep reapplying this type of sunscreen often, as we believe it to be totally resistant. Actually, though, these sunscreens start to lose protection over time and should be reapplied when they come out the water or at least every 2 hours.
The same goes for when your child is running around and playing in the sun. When they become sweaty, this will also affect the protection levels of your sunscreen. Here it’s important that your child drinks a lot of water to stay hydrated and gets their sunscreen topped up regularly.
Time in the Sun Shouldn’t Be Prolonged
As much as the kids love the sun, it’s important that they don’t stay in direct sunlight for long periods of time. This is particularly important during 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. If your child doesn’t want to come indoors, make sure they have somewhere shady to play and maybe a pool to keep cool. Babies who are under 6 months should always be kept out of direct sunlight.