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5 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe From The Sun This Summer

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

When learning outside, it's always important to keep your children safe from the sun's harmful rays. In Australia, the sun is especially intense and can cause sunburns and skin damage in a short amount of time. To help keep your kids safe, here are 5 tips for sun safety.

1) Cover up with clothing

When heading out in the sun, it’s important to have your child covered up. The best fabrics for sun protection are those that block UV rays, such as cotton, linen and polyester. Avoid thin fabrics and materials that don’t protect from UV rays. Loose-fitting clothing is best, since it allows air to circulate and helps prevent your child from overheating. If possible, try to find clothing that is labeled as “sun-safe” as these are designed to provide the most protection from UV radiation. Additionally, if your child will be playing in water, choose a tightly woven fabric that won’t become see-through when wet.

2) Put sunscreen on

It’s important to select a sunscreen that is suitable for your child's age and skin type. Children aged between 6 months and 12 years should use sunscreen that is at least SPF30+. Apply generously and evenly to exposed skin before going outside, then reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. To ensure adequate protection, always read the label and follow the instructions carefully.

It’s also important to remember that sunscreen alone can't protect you from the sun's rays. You must also protect yourself with clothing, hats, sunglasses and seek shade.

3) Seek shade

The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so it's especially important to make sure your children are in the shade during these times. You can provide shade with a hat, umbrella, or even some trees. When there is no shade available, look for buildings or other structures that will block the sun's rays. It is also important to keep in mind that UV rays can still reach you even when you are in the shade, so always make sure to apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you are outside. Make sure your kids understand the importance of seeking shade and that they know how to find a spot of shade when necessary.

4) Wear a hat

Wide-brimmed hats are best, as they will provide the most protection for your child's face, neck and ears. A baseball cap is not enough, as it does not provide adequate coverage for all of these areas. Even better than a wide-brimmed hat is one that has a built in neck flap. It is also important to remember that lighter colors reflect the sun, while darker colors absorb it, so opt for lighter colored hats if possible. When shopping for hats, look for ones with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating of 50 or higher. This rating indicates how much UV radiation the fabric can block, with 50 blocking 98% of the rays.

5) Drink plenty of water

Depending on age and activity level, children should drink between 5-8 cups of water per day. If a child is spending an extended period of time in the sun, they should drink even more water than usual. It’s important to remind children to take frequent breaks from playing in the sun to have a water break. Providing healthy, hydrating snacks like fruit slices and vegetables with a dip or even just drinking cold water can be fun for kids and helpful for keeping them hydrated.


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