Bright, sunny days are the best, especially for kids. The sunshine invites them outside, welcoming them to play, play, play. However, while being outside in the sun certainly puts a smile on anyone’s face, those UV rays can be dangerous. The higher the UV index, the faster the skin will burn; and even when the UV index is low (on cloudy days, for example,) sunburn can still occur.
All it takes is a few sunburns to increase a child’s risk of developing skin cancer later on in life. Add to that the fact that sunburns can be painful, and you want to make sure that your children’s skin is protected.
How can parents protect their kids’ skin from the sun? Whether your kids are spending the day at the beach or going to an outdoor party, here are some simple, yet highly effective tips to keep in mind every time your children head outdoors.
Keep It Covered
Whenever possible, have your kids wear clothing that covers their skin. Long sleeves, long pants and long skirts are ideal. To keep them cool, choose loose fitting, tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, and preferably, fabrics that are made with built-in ultraviolet protection.
Give them a Hat
Try to have your children wear hats whenever they are outdoors. Baseball caps are a popular choice for kids, but while they cover the scalp and shield the face, they don’t protect the ears and neck from the sun’s rays. Wide brimmed hats that shield the scalp, ears, face and neck provide the best protection. A floppy sunhat with fun designs is a great choice!
Sunscreen is a MUST!
Never, ever let your kids out in the sun without applying sunscreen. A sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 and offers both UVA and UVB protection is recommended. For optimal protection, make sure you apply a generous amount of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outside. Make sure that all exposed skin is covered, including the arms, legs, ears, nose, hands, neck and tops of the feet. Also, make sure that you reapply every 2 hours. If your child is going to be sweating or in the water, choose a waterproof formula.
Don’t forget the Eyes!
The skin isn’t the only part of the body that can be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays; the eyes can be damaged, too. When the eyes are exposed to the sun on a constant basis, there is an increased risk of developing serious issues, including eye cancer. Make sure your little ones wear sunglass with UV-protected lenses. There are so many cool designs in sizes that are made specifically for kids, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a pair that your kiddo will love to wear. They’ll love how cool they look, and you’ll love that their eyes are protected.
Find the Shade
While it’s not always possible to stay in the shade, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. This is particularly important during the middle of the day, when UV rays are the strongest and do the most harm. If you can, head indoors at this time of the day, or try to find shade underneath a tree or an umbrella.
With these tips, you will be able to ensure that your children’s delicate skin is well protected from the sun.
By Naomi Shaw