Summertime is usually a call for parents to get their kids out of the house and into the sun for play! While the warmer temperatures are pleasant, they also come along with some invisible risks. Did you know that 15 minutes outside is all it takes for sun damage to occur? In those 15 minutes, even on a cloudy or overcast day, your child could be suffering from harmful UV damage. However, just follow these steps to keep your children protected this summer!
Keep Sensitive Areas Covered
The skin around our face and eyes is very sensitive, especially in younger children. Get your child a sun hat that will protect their ears, neck, and face from the sun’s rays. For even more protection, try a pair of wraparound sunglasses. If your child doesn’t want to keep the hat or sunglasses on, keep them in the shade in a stroller or under a tree.
Know Your Clothing
Typically, SPF is only applied to the exposed areas of our skin. It’s easy to assume that the skin covered by clothing is protected from the sun, but it isn’t always that simple. Keep the color and thickness of your child’s clothing in mind before heading out for the day. Darker colors offer better sun protection than lighter colors. Once a shirt becomes wet, it offers significantly less sun protection than it did when it was dry. If you know your child is wearing light colors or may get wet, don’t be afraid to apply SPF under their clothes!
Sunscreen is the best form of protection against the sun. You should use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 on your child anytime they’re going outside. For infants, baby sunscreen is available and specially formulated so that it won’t irritate their skin. You’ll need to help your child reapply their sunscreen every two hours, after getting wet, and after toweling them off. The sunscreen should be put on your child 15 minutes before you plan to take them outside to get the best level of effectiveness. If your child wants to sit or lay, encourage them to do so in a shaded area rather than in direct sunlight.
We know it can be tricky to get your child to cooperate with all of the safety measures you have in place for them, especially when there’s so much to see and do outside, but sun safety is vital. Teach them healthy sun habits young and they’ll continue to use them into their adult life!