Learn about the precautions you need to take to keep your kid safe under the sun. Summer time calls for stocking up sunscreens, especially while traveling. Loose clothing and wide brimmed hats are must have’s during summers. Do not forget a good pair of glares to protect your kid from the harsh rays of the sun.
Sunny days are a treat for kids and they love to play outdoors. The sun’s rays have immense benefits, but too much exposure to the sun can lead to rashes, sunstroke and cancer later in life. Taking a few simple precautions can keep your child safe. The best thing for a child is to stay away from the sun during the peak hours i.e. from 10am to 4pm. That may not always be possible, so here’s what you can do to minimize sun damage on exposure.
Keep your Child Covered
Research suggests that even 15 minutes of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays every day can double the chances of skin cancer in later life. Make sure your child wears clothes with full sleeves, and long pants or skirts instead of shorts. As a thumb rule – light coloured clothes with tightly woven fabric should be worn to provide better protection. Cover the head with a broad brimmed hat instead of smaller caps. Dress up in loose fitting clothes.
UV rays affect the eyes and increase the chances of cataracts during adulthood. Get your child a pair of sunglasses. A good pair of glares will not just protect the eyes, but also the skin around the eyes.
1. Use a Sunscreen
Use a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or more. Apply it all over the exposed parts of your child’s body, including often ignored areas like the ears, feet and the back of her neck. Apply it 15 minutes before she steps out into the sun. Reapply every two hours. Use sunscreen even on cloudy days because the UV rays travel through the clouds and reflect off the ground and water, and can be harmful even though the day seems cool.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration often goes undetected as children are busy playing and forget to keep themselves hydrated. It may cause tiredness, dizziness or fainting spells. By the time a child feels thirsty, she is already dehydrated. Make sure your child always carries her water bottle and drinks plenty of water at short intervals. Since children are always running and jumping, they sweat a lot and need more water than most adults.
3. Take Breaks from the Sun
If your child has to be out in the sun for longer durations, encourage her to take ‘shade’ breaks. Let her move out of the sun for a short time before going out again. You could put up a baby tent or a large umbrella for your child to play under.
Research suggests that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun happens before they reach adulthood. Stressing the need for sun protection for a child is, therefore, of immense importance. Be a good role model, and inculcate sun safety habits in your child.