Protecting Kids From The Sun: What Every Parent Needs To Know
The sun can be incredibly damaging to children’s skin, and parents should take sun safety seriously to protect their kids’ health. Sunburns can cause a variety of medical issues, including dehydration and heat exhaustion, and long-term sun exposure can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer. It’s essential for parents to be aware of what steps can be taken to protect their children from the sun.
1. Dress Appropriately
Choose clothing that covers the arms and legs to limit sun exposure and select items made from lightweight, breathable fabrics. Avoid clothing made from plastic or synthetic fabrics, which can trap heat and cause uncomfortable sweating. Opt for colorful or patterned items instead, as darker clothing absorbs more heat and light.
2. Use Sunscreen
A strong sunscreen is essential for any time children are exposed to the sun. Check the label and search for ingredients such as avobenzone, mexoryl, cinnamate, oxybenzone, and titanium dioxide, which provide the most reliable protection. Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin prior to heading outdoors, and they should be reapplied every two hours or as soon as the kids have gone swimming or gotten wet.
3. Schedule Smartly
Whenever possible, plan outdoor activities for the morning or late afternoon, when the sun isn’t as strong. When direct sunlight is unavoidable, stick to shady areas and use an umbrella or beach canopy for extra protection. It’s also important for parents to keep an eye on the weather forecast, particularly if the family is headed to the beach.
4. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is a major risk on hot days but is easily preventable. Make sure kids keep drinking water even when they don’t feel thirsty, and bring snacks such as fresh fruit and raw veggies to snack on throughout the day. If a child starts feeling faint, dizzy, or weak, move them to a cool area and encourage them to rest and drink fluids.
5. Wear A Hat
Wide-brimmed hats can offer an effective level of protection from the sun. Hats with a drape in the front work best and should shade the face, ears, and back of the neck. This is especially important for younger children, who may be unable to apply sunscreen properly.
Taking sun safety seriously is essential for any parent looking to protect their children’s skin and health. By taking the right steps, such as staying hydrated, scheduling around the sun, and dressing appropriately, kids can reap all the benefits of summer without risking health issues or sun damage.