Summer Sun Safety for Kids
Hooray for summertime! We all look forward to afternoons spent by the pool, trips to the park and beach days. What do all of these things have in common? Sun exposure, that’s what! Now, the sun is certainly not something we should fear. It helps our bodies produce Vitamin D and is proven to boost mood, but too much of it can lead to skin damage and other health problems. Now is the time to teach your kids about sun safety and what they can to do make the most of sunny days without compromising their health.
Here’s what you can do to help your children develop good sun safety habits:
- Dress them in lightweight, light-colored clothing (Did you know that there is even clothing made specifically to block UV rays?)
- Lather on sunscreen with at an SPF of at least SPF 30, even when it’s cloudy. Experts recommend putting sunscreen on about a half an hour prior to sun exposure and reapplying approximately ever 2 hours. (note: Infants under 6 months should not wear sunscreen. Instead, make sure they’re covered up with protective clothing).
- Invest in a good bottle of waterproof sunblock, as water intensifies the sun’s effect on skin due to reflection.
- Try to minimize the amount of time spent in direct sunlight between 10AM and 4PM, as this is the period when the sun’s rays are the strongest and most damaging.
- Make sure all family members wear sunglasses! People often forget that the eyes are as prone to sun damage as the skin.
But what if it’s too late for all that and your child gets a sunburn? While prevention should always be top of mind, there are ways to ease the pain of sunburn.
- Encourage them to drink more water than usual
- Run a cool bath
- Use lotion with lots of aloe on all affected areas of the skin
- Give them ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Avoid any sun exposure until skin has healed
Also, be aware of the signs of severe sunburn and/or sun poisoning. Symptoms like nausea, headache, fever and light-headedness warrant a trip to the doctor.
Summer activities are the best, but make sure that your child enjoys them without skin damage this season. If your child is spending their days in childcare or at summer camp, talk to the care provider to ensure that they too follow proper sun safety habits for outdoor activities. At Apple Tree summer camp, our teachers and center directors are meticulous about smart sun protection for campers. Call or contact us today to enroll in summer camp!