The summer season is almost here! Children will be spending more and more time outdoors having fun, if they aren't already doing so. That’s why it’s more important than ever to protect them against the sun’s harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. Although the sun is a great source of Vitamin D, which helps us to absorb calcium for stronger and healthier bones, educating our children about good sun protection habits is essential.
Here are a few simple tips on sun protection for the entire family:
- Always use sunscreen. The first thing anyone thinks of when it comes to sun protection is sunscreen. Choosing the right sunscreen for your child is important. Experts recommend selecting a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, and preferably one which is water or sweat-resistant. For maximum sun protection benefits, sunscreen should be applied approximately 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and re-applied every two to three hours.
- Seek shade. The sun is usually at its strongest between hours of 10:00AM and 4:00PM. It is best to avoid being in the sun between those hours. However, if children must be outdoors during those hours, it is important to take all the possible sun protection measures to keep them safe and hydrated. It is advisable to make sure there is adequate shade to avoid exposure to sun. A wide umbrella or a pop up tent to play is an alternative way to have children play in the shade.
- Wear sun protective clothing. One way to ward off damage from the sun is by wearing sun protective clothing or cover-ups. The best way to ensure that the clothes screen out harmful UV rays is by placing your hand inside the garment and make sure you can’t see through garment. Have your children wear dark colors, full sleeves, long pants, cover-ups, or sun protective swimwear. Wide brim hats are a wonderful way to protect the scalp and face.
- Don’t forget the sunglasses. Just like the skin, eyes are also susceptible to sun damage. Not all sunglasses offer UV protection, with some sunglasses giving a false sense of safety. Buy sunglasses with labels ensuring 100% UV protection. To encourage children to wear sunglasses allow them to select a style, such as designs with multicolored frames or cartoon characters.
- Be a good role model. Last but not the least, setting a good example for your children is a powerful way for them to pick up on sun protection habits. These preventative measures not only reduce the risk from sun damage, but also teach your children good sun-safety sense.
Have fun and remember to be safe in the sun!
Image Credit: socialmoms.com
Contributed by Neha, Fairmont Private Schools