“Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!”
My niece and S loved singing that nursery rhyme when they were in preschool. And with summer coming, Mr Sun definitely will be shining down on us! I am sure everyone is excited to enjoy the warmer weather and extra hours of sunshine. So here are some sun safety tips to keep everyone and their skin, happy!
Sun safety is important because there is harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. These UV rays can lead to sunburn, skin cancer, and cataracts. The sun’s rays are strongest from about 11 am to 4 pm so it is very important to protect your skin and stay out of the sun as much as possible, during that time.
Here are some tips to protect you and your family:
Cover your arms and legs. Clothes that are loose, tightly woven, and lightweight are great choices.
A wide-brimmed hat will help protect your head, face, neck and ears.
Stay in the shade.
Sunglasses with UV protection will protect your eyes.
Sunscreen is also an important part of sun safety for your family.
Sunscreen should not be used for babies who are younger than 6 months old. The best protection for them is to keep them out of direct sunlight. Put their strollers and playpens in the shade.
For babies who are 6 months to 12 months old, sunscreen should be applied if baby has to be out in the sun. It is still best to keep them out of direct sunlight and in the shade, when possible. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before heading out and keep skin covered with light clothing and wide brimmed hat.
For children 1 year and older, apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every 2 hours.
What kind of sunscreen?
Use water-resistant sunscreen when kids are playing in or near water and also reapply often.
Choose sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more to protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreen sticks may be a good product for using on the face so you have more control and less chance of getting product into eyes
Mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may be less irritating for kids and their sensitive skin.
Sunscreen sprays may seem convenient but be wary of kids breathing in the spray (ick!) and the evenness of the application can be difficult if kids are squirming and summer breeze is blowing.
How much sunscreen?
For an adult, the recommended amount is about an ounce (30 ml), a shot-glass amount of sunscreen. Of course, children come in all range of sizes so in general, just remember to cover every exposed body part and ‘less is not more’ in this case!
We all need to be protected from over-exposure from the sun. Teach your little ones to play in the shade and to practice good sun health habits, so they will have these habits for life. Enjoy the sun everyone!