Child care has changed over the years. One aspect that has changed, especially in Perth, is that it is no longer acceptable to have children play outside for hours and hours. We know a lot more about the effects of sun exposure now. The upside is that it is our primary source of Vitamin D; the downside is that too much exposure can cause skin cancer.
This knowledge makes it necessary for adults to perform a “balancing act” of sorts when it comes to children and sun exposure. They need the sun for Vitamin D and need to be outdoors for good, natural exercise, but they have to be protected from skin cancer. Here are some tips for keeping your child safe in the sun.
Avoid the Hottest Hours
Avoid the times when the sun is highest in the sky. Try to schedule outdoor activities at times when the sunlight is less direct. Even on a cloudy day, plenty of UV rays still make it through the clouds. Take special care on colder or windy days, as they tend to cool the skin and your child won’t notice the UV rays heating up his or her skin.
Other than staying inside, this is the easiest way to keep the sun from damaging your child’s skin: cover it up. This can be done with clothing and with an umbrella. If you are walking a baby, make sure the buggy provides shade and cover up all skin with clothing.
Always put sunscreen on your children. There are many formulated just for children, from regular skin to sensitive skin. Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Always remember, though: never use sunscreen on a child 6 months of age or younger. To apply sunscreen for maximum protection:
Use it whenever children are exposed to the sun.
Apply the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before your children go outside. Make sure to cover all areas that will be exposed to the sun. Don’t forget the ears or the hands.
Reapply every two hours.
Use waterproof sunscreen for swimming. Some people forget this.
Better Safe than Sorry
We hope this post has been helpful. Call Cuddles Childcare Centres to learn more. Carlisle centre: +61 (08) 9472 4702, St James centre: +61 (08) 9358 4673 and Bertram centre: +61 (08) 9419 1844.