Children love to play outside, and as parents, we want to see our children happily enjoying the ocean and sand.
As parents, we must be educated on the proper precautions to take in order to prevent our children from overexposure to the sun and what to do when our child gets a sunburn. In this post, we’ll cover 7 ways to teach your kids about sun safety and to equip them with the right knowledge to protect themselves.
The Importance of Sun Safety
Everyone needs sunlight. Without sunlight, we cannot produce vitamin D. Without vitamin D, we are unable to absorb calcium, resulting in weak and frail bones. However, overexposure to Ultraviolet rays can lead to skin and eye damage, immune system suppression, and skin cancer.
In 1998, The Cancer Council in Australia launched the SunSmart Schools program. Over 2500 schools and 3500 childcare programs have joined and are educating kids on sun safety. Terry Selvin, Chairman of The Cancer Council in Australia, states that “Being sun smart is just as important as eating your fruits and vegetables.”
7 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sun Safety
- The Wet and Sweat Rule: Even waterproof sunscreen must be reapplied after swimming and physical activities. Get your child in the habit of applying more sunblock after getting wet or sweating.
- Play in the Shade: One of the most effective ways to protect your child from sun damage is keeping them in the shade. This can be under a tree, building, umbrella, etc. Our Burleigh Wagon comes with a built-in UV protected umbrella to give added coverage when outdoors. This is a feature that we specially designed when we realised that other wagon brands didn't have something so basic, yet crucial for sun safety.
- Develop a Sunscreen Habit: Get yourself and your child in the habit of knowing when to apply sunscreen. In the Northern and Central parts of Australia, sunscreen should be worn every day because the UV rays are consistently above three. The Environmental Protection Agency has a SunWise program with an app that allows you to check the UV Index in your zip code. The higher the UV rays, the more precautions you must take.
- Wear Protective Hats and Clothing: Skin cancer commonly occurs on the neck, temples, ears, lips, and nose. This is why wide-brimmed hats are the best hats for long days in the sun. Protective clothing is also an easy and efficient way to prevent overexposure.
- Teach Your Child the Shadow Rule: If your shadow is shorter than your height, the likelihood of being sunburnt by UV rays increases. So teach your child the “Short Shadow? Seek Shade” rule.
- Sunglasses for Eye Protection: The Skin Care Foundation recommends kids over six months wear sunglasses because kids under the age of 10 are at higher risk of ocular changes caused by sun damage. The skin and eyelids of children are also more sensitive than adults. We love Ace Optics, which is an Australian owned and designed polarised performance optics built for all extreme conditions. Check them out at www.aceoptics.com.au
- Be a Role Model: Your child isn’t going to feel obligated to wear a hat, sunglasses, or apply sunscreen if you don’t do so yourself. Be a good role model in order to keep your child healthy and embrace the importance of sun safety.
How to Treat a Sunburn:
• Have your child take a cool bath (not too cold)
• Dab a wet towel on the sunburn to soothe pain and relieve heat
• Apply Aloe Vera gel to all sunburned areas
• Give your child an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to ease the itching and pain
• Apply moisturizing lotion to rehydrate the skin
• For more intense sunburns apply hydrocortisone
• For severe and blistering sunburns - call your doctor
There are endless easy ways to keep your child protected on top of sunscreen and cute sunglasses. Our Burleigh Wagon is a very simple way of providing an extra layer of protection – it actually has built-in coverage. This allows you to enjoy time outside with your child without the worry of finding extra shade on an especially sunny day.
With these simple ideas, you can take now take the necessary measures in keeping your child's skin protected and teach them how to protect themselves while having fun in the sun.