Sun safety for kids is an important aspect of summer. They want to run and frolic in the heat, take a dip in the pool, or take part in a baseball game. All adults should familiarize themselves the details of protecting kids from the sun so that they are happy and healthy during their favorite time of the year!
Below are five factors to consider when practicing good sun safety for kids (as well as yourself!).
Sun Safety for Kids
Many people think that sunblock is the best protection from the sun’s rays. However, that is actually not the case. Proper sun safety for kids utilizes shade from the sun so that the children are shielded altogether. The shade is particularly important when the sun is the brightest – which is usually between 10am – 4pm. If your kids need to be out during this time, have them play beneath a canopy, tree, or umbrella.
If playing in the shade just isn’t an option, sunscreen is the next best thing for sun protection. Be sure to use at least SPF 30 and choose one that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Ages six months and older need to have sunscreen on when outdoors, and be sure to reapply it every two hours or as they get out of the swimming pool.
3. Proper clothing
Sun safety for kids even flows into the clothes that they wear. Make sure that they are always wearing a sun hat when outside. The right hat will help shield their vulnerable skin on the ears and face. Look for clothing that actually protects against the sun’s rays. Rash guards with UVA/UVB protection are perfect for the beach and pool, for example.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends choosing clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or above. You should use sunscreen in combination with standard clothing to get maximum protection against the sun’s rays.
4. Eye Protection
Your kids should be wearing sunglasses too! Long-term exposure to the sun can increase the chance of cataracts, so make sure your kids are protected with sunglasses offering 100% UV protection. If your child really won’t wear sunglasses then a wide-brimmed hat is another option.
Little bodies can dehydrate fast when playing in the summer sun. Be sure to practice sun safety by keeping water on hand when going to the park, beach, or when just playing outside at your home. Avoid sugary sodas and juices when your children are outside for extended periods of time. They aren’t as hydrating and may make them feel sick after gulping a lot of that sugar! Get each child their own water bottle to fill up before heading out to play.
It is always important to promote sun safety for kids. Their skin is more delicate than adult’s, and being exposed too much when they are little can set up problems for them in the future. Remember, the sun’s rays can still do harm even on a cloudy day, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
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