Sun Safety Starts With Us

Charlotte Thompson, 22 Jan 2020

The sun is out and the summer heat has certainly kicked in. But before your kids head out the door for their day at childcare, it is important that you are doing all you can to protect them from the sun. There is something about summer that makes children want to run faster and play all day long. It is crucial that your child forms an understanding attitude towards learning about sun-safety and the threats it could have.

Although the sun feels good, it can be the skin’s worse enemy, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

“The estimated number of new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in 2019 is 15,229 - 8,899 being male and 6,330 being female.” Cancer Australia

Whether your child is at childcare or is playing at home, it is important you incorporate these tips during the summertime to protect them from sunburn and other skin-related diseases. It is also important that your child’s attitude towards learning about sun safety is positive and they understand the dangers.

Seek out shade

When playing outside, children need to seek shade throughout the day, especially during peak hours (10 am-4 pm). Childcare centres should limit outdoor activity or ensure children are playing in the shade during peak hours of sun intensity. 

Dress them in protective clothing

Before dropping your child off to daycare on a hot summers day, you must cover their skin up accordingly to prevent sunburn. Clothing can provide an excellent barrier against the sun’s UV rays, it does not wear off, and its protection is consistent. Many new fabrics offer high-tech protection and breathability. We recommend packing your child with a hat with a wide brim all the way around to help shade their eyes, ears, face and neck.

There is also Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing, hats and fabrics available that can help shield your child from the sun. The UPF rating will show what fraction of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the fabric. You mustn’t only rely on clothing, as even though it covers up most the body, it also leaves some skin exposed. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to all areas that are exposed to the sun.

SPF is crucial

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and reveals how long the sun’s UV rays would take to redden your skin when using sunscreen. Generally, a sunscreen that has an SPF 15 will usually take a child 15 times longer to burn than if they weren’t wearing sunscreen. It is important that sunscreen is reapplied every two hours or as recommended on the bottle.

Some sunscreens can also have the terms ‘broad-spectrum’ on them, which indicates that the sunscreen contains ingredients that dramatically protects against UVA rays as well as UVB. If children are going to be in the water or engage in water-based activities, you should select a water-resistant sunscreen that will protect the skin even when they are in the water.

Applying sunscreen in the morning is not enough to protect you for a whole day in the sun. Your child must reapply sunscreen precisely as directed. Ensure they slather it on and don’t miss any spots.

Sunburn safety procedures

Babies and children have soft, supple and vulnerable skin which means you have to be extra careful when they are out in the sun. Children must protect their skin from sunburns or injuries. A child’s attitude toward learning about sun-safety procedures and following them is crucial. As a parent, it is essential to implement these methods from a young age.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation ‘babies under 6 months of age should never be exposed to the sun and babies older than 6 months should be protected from the sun, and wear UV blocking sunglasses to protect their eyes.’

If your child has been exposed to sunlight, which may have cause sunburn, it is best to:

  • Bathe them in lukewarm water to cool the skin
  • For babies younger than 1 year, their sunburn should be taken seriously. Call your doctor immediately and ensure that their skin is treated promptly. 
  • If your child experiences severe pain, blistering, lethargy or a fever over 38 degrees, you must take them to a doctor to treat their burn and other symptoms
  • Being out in the sun can cause dehydration. If your child is sunburned, it is vital that you supply them with water or juice to replenish body fluids. 
  • Apply a light moisturising lotion can be used to soothe the skin (don’t rub it in).
  • Do not apply any medicated cream unless instructed by a doctor
  • Make sure to keep them out of the sun until their sunburns have healed entirely. 

At Young Academics, we ensure every child is protected from the sun, providing them with sunscreen throughout the day and supplying them with bucket hats. Not only do we provide your little one with exceptional learning experiences, but we also make sure they are protected from any harm presented at them. We also ensure your child has an understanding attitude towards learning about sun-safety and the hazards it can present.

We love to play in the sun at Young Academics but know how to do it the right way. For more information about our daily activities, speak to our friendly staff.


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