Children love playing outdoors and often don’t pay attention to the length of time they spend in the sun. They can easily get serious sunburns that can put them at risk for skin cancer later in life. Parents can protect their children from sun damage with a few easy measures. You can also teach children to be aware of the dangers of overexposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
Though sunshine helps the body to manufacture vitamin D that helps children build strong bones, only short exposure in the sun is needed. Too much sun can cause severe skin burns, the risk of skin cancer, eye damage and immune system suppression. Sunlight contains dangerous ultraviolet rays. UVA rays cause skin wrinkling and damage over time. Sunlight also contains UVB rays, which can cause cataracts of the eyes, skin burns and can lead to skin cancer. Protecting your child from sun damage in the early years can help protect them from the consequences of excessive sun exposure later on in life.
Make Sun Protection Easy
The best way to teach children about the importance of taking precautions against the sun is to make it regular part of their outdoor activities. Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 on them immediately in the morning when they are preparing to go out to play. Have plenty of hats on hand and encourage them to take them with them whenever they go out to play. Have them wear sunglasses outdoors to protect their eyes from UV rays. Make them take breaks in the shade throughout the day to cool down and get relief from the sunlight. Have them carry cover-ups such as shirts with long sleeves to protect skin from overexposure.
Other Sun Protection Tips
Get children accustomed to re-applying sunscreen after they get wet or sweaty. Be aware the insect repellent can reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen by one-third. If you apply repellent to protect your child against insects, use a sunscreen with a higher SPF. Tuck a small tube of sunscreen in backpack or sports bag.
For more information on this subject, check out this infographic from our friends at Mom Loves Best!