Photo Credit: Peter Idowu
Summer’s here! With the days getting longer and school coming to an end, it’s important to be extra sun smart, especially for your kids. After spending many months indoors, everyone’s excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Before sending your children outside this summer, you’ll need to be careful to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.
Let’s make this summer a safe one for your kids with these summer safety tips.
When looking for sunscreen, make sure to read the label carefully for broad-spectrum coverage. Cream form sunscreen is typically more effective compared to the lotion and spray. When you apply sunscreen on your children, do it 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. This ensures it soaks into the skin and reduces their chances of getting a sunburn. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours, especially after swimming, sweating, and toweling off.
For extra safety precautions, you can also test a small amount of sunscreen on your child’s skin to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction to the cream, especially if they’re under 6 months old.
Keep infants out of the sun
The sun is the strongest and most harmful to the skin from 10am to 4pm, which is often peak playtime. If it’s possible, plan early morning outdoor activities. Whether you go to the park an hour earlier or do an early morning bike ride, it’s safer for your kids. It’s important to note that clouds don’t block UV rays, so treat the cloudy days the same as sunny ones. When they’re outside, encourage your kids to play in the shade and bring shade umbrellas if you’re in a park or on the beach.
Protect your kids' eyes
When your children play outside, make sure they’re wearing hats. Not only do hats protect their skin, but they shield your kids eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. It can be tricky to find proper sunglasses for children that aren’t just for decorative purposes. If you do find sunglasses for your kids, make sure the UV absorption is 400 nanometers or higher or block at least 99% of UV rays.
Cover skin from the sun
If you or your kids will be outside for the whole day, try and wear clothing that protects your arms, legs, and shoulders. You can find lightweight, protective clothing that covers the body without being too hot during the day. If your kids are swimming and sit in the sun after, drape a towel over their shoulders to protect their skin.
One of the best things you can do for your kids is lead by example. If they see you applying sunscreen, wearing hats and sunglasses, and opting for shaded areas while outdoors, it will reinforce the idea that sun safety is key. Don’t leave home without the essentials and make sure to have a bag ready in your car for when you’re on the go. With these tips, summer safety for your children will be that easy!
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