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Shielding Your Little Ones from the Sun: Five Easy Ways to Keep Them Safe

Protecting your Children from UV Rays this Summer.

Protecting your Children from UV Rays this Summer

We are getting to that time of year again when the sun and the warm weather it brings with it is threatening to make an appearance. After what is quite possibly the wettest winter we have had in ages, we are certainly looking forward to the summer. However, it is also time to talk about something super important: protecting our children from the sun. That big glowing ball in the sky may seem harmless, but anyone that has ever suffered sunburn knows full well the damage it can do. Now imagine that same power on young sensitive skin. At the least, it’s going to potentially ruin a few days of your holiday, but the long-term risks can be far more serious.

Why it’s Crucial to Shield Kids from the Sun

As I already mentioned, children’s skin is far more sensitive than adults. Their small bodies haven’t built up the same defences against the sun’s rays that we have. UV rays can cause painful sunburn, and repeated exposure over time can lead to more serious conditions such as skin cancer. It’s therefore essential to start protecting (and educating) your child from the get-go.

Mum applying suncream to child with sunburn

Steps to take

Thankfully it’s not rocket science and just a few simple steps can mitigate much of the danger associated with UV rays.

  1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen: This is your best friend, simply slather it generously on your child’s exposed skin (over 6 months old). Look for a minimum sunscreen of SPF30, but SPF50 is generally recommended for little ones. It’s also important to ensure it is labeled ‘broad-spectrum’ which protects against UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply every couple of hours, especially if they’re splashing around in the water.
  2. Cover up: Hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing are your secret weapons. For on the beach, you might want to consider investing in a UV protective swimsuit such as the ones we sell in-store from the popular kids swimwear range at sib&salt. Of course, for fashion-conscious mums, this is the ideal opportunity to accessorise!!
  3. Seek shade: When the sun’s blazing down be sure to set up camp somewhere with a bit of shade. Natural is best, such as under a tree, but if you’re in the middle of a beach you’ll have to settle for a beach umbrella. Giving your little ones regular breaks from the sun’s direct rays can make a big difference.
  4. Plan your days around the sun: Timing is everything! If you have a range of activities planned for the day, try to arrange them around the sun’s peak hours. For example, outdoor activities could be planned for first thing in the morning, or late afternoon when the sun isn’t as intense.
  5. Lead by example: Finally, be a sun-savvy role model for your little ones. They learn from watching you, so practising sun safety yourself will help enforce what you are teaching them. So slap on that sunscreen, throw on a hat, and show them how it’s done!
Child playing in the ocean in a UV suit

Remember, protecting your children from the sun doesn’t have to be complicated, it just takes a small amount of planning. Following the simple steps above will go a long way to keeping them safe and healthy in the summer sun. So next time you’re heading out for the day don’t forget to grab the sunscreen and gear up for some sun-safe fun!

For more information on protecting your children and yourself from the sun, check out this NHS resource page.

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