During the summer months, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to staying safe in the summer sun, and this year in particular as it’s been a scorcher. Having small children, especially, should make you extra concerned as they are the most vulnerable to the summer heat and sun. Only a few serious sunburns in life can cause skin cancer. Whether playing poolside, frolicking on the beach, or romping outdoors on extremely sunny days, children are bound to get too much sun, so they require the most protection from its harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. When it comes to your children’s summertime fun, err on the side of caution and reinforce summer sun safety rules whenever your children are outdoors.
So how can you protect your little ones when they’re playing outdoors this summer sun? Here are a few tips for ensuring the safety of your children when they’re outside and exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.
Lather on the Sunscreen
As parents, we must be attentive when it comes to arming ourselves with sunscreen when we are outdoors with our children, and not just on extremely sunny days. Remember to reapply often, especially if your children go for a swim or are actively playing, as sunscreen lotions often wear off in water or when you sweat, and although there are a number of waterproof sunscreen products available, waterproof and water-resistant sunscreen should still be applied as much as those that aren’t. Naturally, you should mind the SPF, UVA, and UVB protection levels –make sure the sunscreen you use has at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection. New mums should pay special attention to the directions on the label of all sun care products you intend to use on babies six months and under because some ingredients in these products can cause a bad reaction on your child’s skin. If you are unsure about what sunscreen is chemically safe to use on your children, consult with their pediatrician.
The best way to guard against your baby being burned by the sun’s violent rays is to avoid going out on extremely sunny days or remaining covered and in the shade.
Cover Your Wee Ones from Head to Toe
Dressing your children properly for sunny days is key to ensuring your children’s protection from getting burned by the sun and keeping them safe from its UV rays. Along with sunscreen, outfit your children in tops, long shorts, or beach dresses, all available from a variety of children’s retailers, including M&S, when you intend to spend long periods of time outdoors. Although you may think that long-sleeved shirts and long trousers are the best options for your children on extra sunny days; however, these garments can cause your children to become overheated and uncomfortable, particularly when they are engaged in active play. Also, remember to cover your children’s heads, especially if they are babies, with hats that shade their heads, ears, and necks. Big, floppy hats work best because they provide the most sun protection for your energetic, on-the-go little one.
Caitlyn Duggen is a mum of 3 and avid writer. She contributes to numerous blogs, sharing her experiences and advice for parenting. She is an advocate for healthy lifestyle choices and enjoys spending time with her family outdoors.
All images provided by the author