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Children's sun safety tips

Isn’t it just fantastic when the sun eventually decides to come out and you can get your children outside. Entertaining them seems so much easier when you can go to the park or play in the garden for a few hours. They can run and explore and be loud (all of the things we tell them not to do when they are inside). Oh and how well they sleep when they have burnt off all that energy and got some fresh air in their lungs

However being outside brings a different challenge of it’s own and that is sun safety. The first thing we think of is lathering them up in sun cream but you must be conscientious about which cream you buy. We are learning more and more now about not only the SPF which of course must be high (30 at least) but also the star rating. The SPF protects us from getting sun burnt from the UVB rays which we know is very important for our skin and our health. The star rating which is normally on the back of the bottle refers to the protection level from the UVA rays which are the ones that can cause skin cancer. So you want to find a sun cream which is 5 stars and some of the main brands which we have always known and loved don’t have this so double check.

Suncream however can only do so much and it won’t protect from dehydration, heat stroke and overheating. So it is important to also remember to keep your child covered up. Thin layers will help to keep them cool and try if you can to put on a hat (although we all know how hard it is keeping those on!)

Give them lots to drink, if they are out in the heat they will need to drink more than usual so stock up if you are going out

Try to provide some shade especially if they are napping. It might by hard if you are on the park to keep them in the shade but if you stop for a picnic or they fall asleep in the pushchair then make sure to stay in the shade as much as possible

Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Unfortunately the hottest part of the day is between 12-3 which is probably the time you are thinking of being out but wherever possible it is better to schedule trips out or playing in the garden in the mornings and late afternoon when the sun is not so strong

Water play is a great way to keep them cool but just remember if their sun cream isn’t water proof then you will need to reapply

Never put a cover over the pushchair for them to sleep under. This may seem like a good idea if you are out and about to keep them shaded or to stop the sun being so bright but this can cause a green house sort of effect and your child can really over heat  

Lastly the sun can be damaging to eyes, we all wear sunglasses when it is bright but it isn’t something we always think about with children. They are not just a fashion accessory they really do stop your eyes from being damaged so if they will let you then put some on. And make sure they have UV protection lenses

It sounds like a lot to consider but the benefits really out way the effort so make sure your child is sun safe this summer. Once all of that is sorted all that is left is to have fun, fire up the bbq and get out the ice lollies!

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