The weather is heating up and with it comes much more time spent outdoors, enjoying those active days of summer. Many of our kids are running and swimming, playing around and participating in outdoor sports.
Warmer weather means much more skin is exposed to the sun, so this is the time to pay extra attention to preventing sunburn. During the months of June, July and August, the sun’s UV rays are at their most powerful; just ten minutes can leave your child with a painful reaction.
Read on for tips on protecting your kids to the maximum and putting your mind at ease so you can all focus on what summer’s all about: having fun!
Apply Sun Block in Advance
Before going out in the sun, be sure to liberally apply sun block (SPF 30 or higher) to all exposed areas of skin and allow time for it to absorb properly.
It makes no sense to apply sun block if it will immediately dissolve in the water or rub off on clothing. You also won’t want to be caught in the hot sun rushing to apply sun protection- apply it at home, at your leisure, and you’ll be able to leave the house knowing your children are protected until their next application.
Reapply Sun Block Often
Especially when swimming, children need to have sun block reapplied often in order for it to be effective. Set reminders or alarms on your phone to get them out of the pool and dry them off for a reapplication. Pay special attention to lips, cheeks, noses and shoulders, and be sure to wait a few minutes for the cream to absorb before allowing them back out in the sun.
Use Clothing to Your Advantage
The best way to really block the sun’s harmful rays is by creating a barrier between it and your child’s sensitive skin. Sun protective shirts, hats, shorts and even jackets are now available from many major retailers. This is a great way to protect large areas of skin- experts say that tightly knit, darker coloured clothing will have a similar effect, so even a cotton t-shirt can offer a good amount of protection.
Watch the Clock
The sun is normally at its strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. During this time you can anticipate the highest level of sun protection needed, although this is not a steadfast rule and children can also get sunburned before and after.
When planning activities in a hot place, keep in mind that being outdoors during these hours poses the greatest risk for sunburn and heat exhaustion, meaning it’s generally best to leave things like hikes or walks for very early mornings or late afternoons.
Seek Out Shade
Although it may be tempting to sunbathe yourself or make the most of sunny weather, it’s really best to have your base in the shade. Find a shady spot under a tree, or make shade when possible. Carrying a large beach umbrella or shade tent with you is a good precaution if you’re unsure of the facilities will offer.
Author bio: Sonia Moran is the mother of three active fair-skinned children who need extra protection from the sun. She is also a writer for www.amoralia.com, where you can find parenting advice and stylish maternity and nursing wear.