Summer is an exciting time for kids. It means running around outside under the sprinkler, building sandcastles at the beach with friends and cooling off with a refreshing ice cream. Keep your child’s summer untainted by sunburn by following these few safety tips.
Protect their skin
Sunburnt skin ruins summer fun. Teach your child early on how to be sun smart; then they can enjoy the benefits of a healthy Vitamin D dose and not suffer the associated pain of itchy, peeling and painful burnt skin. The first step is to engrain habits early. Make a routine, do each task in the same order every time. Sunscreen should be SPF 30+ and be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapplied every 2 hours thereafter. Get your child used to wearing sunglasses from an early age and make it fun by purchasing bright colours, or let them choose their special pair. Lead by example and wear a broad brimmed hat. Retail stores stock a range of stylish items; you don’t have to look like a daggy parent to be sun safe. Again, let your child have some input in the hat purchasing process (within reason). Spending a little more on the spider man hat is well worth the extra 10 dollars if they are excited to wear it. Shelling out a little more money now may mean saving them from skin cancers later.
Responsible fun in the sun
It’s easy to play in the sun safely if you know how. Being in the sun at the wrong time can be the difference between a great summer play day and vomit inducing heatstroke. Dehydration can cause a myriad of problems. Prepare your children and have them drink plenty of water before they go out in the sun. Ensure they take periodic breaks to rehydrate and snack on water based fruit. If your child happens to get dehydrated during the day, make hydration fun and give them electrolyte ice blocks. No amount of diligent water consumption will keep your child hydrated if their essential salts are depleted. Limit time outside between the hours of 11am and 4pm or have your children play in the shade during this period. Don’t be fooled by cloudy skies, the majority of UV rays cut through cloud cover and your child could still end up with burnt skin. Get your kids in the habit of applying an after sun moisturiser such as aloe vera to keep their skin soft and hydrated. Grown your own plant for a fun holiday project.
Swimming in the backyard pool provides hours of entertainment and forms irreplaceable childhood memories. However, extra precautions need to be taken when spending sunny days in the pool. Sunscreen washes off in water, therefore more frequent applications are necessary. Body parts submerged in water are still susceptible to the sun. Check the pH level of your pool and have your children wear protective goggles to ward off all-too-common eye injuries sustained from pool chemicals. Invest in a pool cover, such as those at Fabric Solutions, to minimise evaporation, thus, reducing the need to use extra chemicals.
Implementing a sun safety routine will make it second nature for your little ones. Summer time will be a breeze and they will thank you later in life when they don’t have to go under the laser.