Finally, summer’s here! Kids running around in the sun, dipping in and out of the sea and the paddling pool, playing for hours on end through their summer holidays…
But, did you know that just a couple of serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later on in life? Sunburn is not just a worry while on holiday or in direct sunlight – children’s skin is highly delicate and needs protection from harmful UV rays whenever they are outside in daylight.
Here are 5 top tips to make sure your children are safe this summer.
The shade is your friend at lunchtime– The sun’s rays are at their strongest when the sunlight is directly overhead, normally between 11am to 3pm. During these hours try and stick to indoor activities, or failing this set up fun tents or umbrellas for the kids to play under. Seeking shade should be a prevention not a cure for sunburn so make sure you’re prepared.
Wear a hat – Our heads spend a lot of time in direct sunshine without us really noticing, so areas such as the neck, ears and forehead should be protected well. A hat will cover all of these areas, and if your child is wearing a baseball cap, make sure his or her ears and neck are well protected with lots of high factor sunscreen – SPF30 or 50, ideally.
Apply sunscreen – For optimum impact, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside making sure to cover often forgotten areas such as tops of the feet and ears. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 remembering to reapply after swimming or sweating – yes, even if the lotion is advertised as waterproof!
Cover up – Make sure you take long sleeved clothing when out and about in the sun. Darker colours and tightly woven fabrics often offer more protection than lighter options. It’s worth noting that after swimming wet T-shirts provide less coverage and protection that dry ones.
Sunglasses are a must – The sun’s rays are damagingly strong, especially during the hottest hours of the day so sunglasses are essential for all ages, not least the little ones. Make sure the glasses are certified to block 100& of UVA and UVB rays. To maximise protection, look for glasses that wrap around the eyes so you’re blocking out the sunlight at the corners of the eyes.