Fun in the Sun: Sun Safety Tips for Little Ones
Summer is here, and it’s time to soak up the warmth and create wonderful memories with your little sunshine. At the same time, you want to do everything you can to protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays. Here are eight sun safety tips to help your family enjoy the sunshine while staying protected.
- Time it Right:
Plan outdoor activities during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense. This way, you can enjoy the fresh air without worrying about sunburn. Remember, the sun is usually strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to find indoor or shaded activities during those peak hours.
- Play in the shade:
When playing outdoors in the summer, finding shade for your child is best. Look for cool spots under trees, umbrellas, or canopies. Not only will it keep them comfortable, but it will also shield their sensitive skin from direct sunlight.
- Dress for the Sun:
Dress your child in cool, comfy clothes covering their arms, legs, and neck. Choose lightweight fabrics like cotton that allow their skin to breathe. A wide-brimmed hat is also a fantastic addition to protect their face, neck, and ears. Let them choose a fun hat with their favorite characters to make it even more exciting!
- Protect their peepers:
Just like grown-ups, kids need sunglasses to protect their eyes from those dazzling rays. Find sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. Look for cute, kid-friendly designs that they’ll love to wear. Encourage your child to keep their sunglasses on while outside, just like their favorite movie star or superhero.
- Slather on Sunscreen:
When heading outdoors, don’t forget the sunscreen! Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Make sure it provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply a generous amount to all exposed areas of your child’s skin, including their face, ears, hands, and feet. Don’t forget to cover those hard-to-reach places like the back of the neck and behind the knees! For babies younger than six months, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are unavailable.
- Drink water:
Keep your little one hydrated throughout their outdoor adventures. Pack a water bottle and encourage them to take sips regularly. Staying hydrated helps their body cool down and keeps their skin healthy. Turn it into a game by having them take a drink every time you do! Exclusively breastfed babies don’t need extra water but may nurse more in hot weather.
- Watch Out for Hot Surfaces:
Before letting your little explorer roam free, check the temperature of surfaces like sand, pavement, playground equipment, and even car seats and seat belt buckles. Use your hand to feel if they’re too hot. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your child’s delicate skin.
- Lead by Example:
Show your child how to protect their skin by setting a good example. Apply sunscreen together, wear your hats and sunglasses side by side, and seek shade as a family. When they see you practicing sun safety, they’ll want to be just like you!
Armed with these sun safety tips for your family, you can ensure that your little one enjoys the great outdoors while staying protected from the sun’s rays.
Looking for more tips? Check out:
- Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen
- Infant Sun Protection: How to Keep Your Baby Safe
- Extreme Heat: Keeping Kids Safe When Temperatures Soar