Keeping Your Kids Sun Safe

We know it is important to keep our kids sun safe. So here is everything you need to know about keeping your kids sun safe this summer


 

We usually associate summer with shedding those layers, getting our tan on and doing as many summer oriented activities as we possibly can. And as great as all those things sound, you shouldn't forget to protect your family from the sun. According to a recent report released by the Canadian Cancer Society, melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, is on the rise among Canadians — yet it is one of the most preventable. They found that younger Canadians between 16 -24 tend to spend the most time under the sun, with the least protection.

Things need to change and it starts with practicing sun protection with your children. The earlier you start teaching them about the sun’s harmful effects, the easier it will be for them to include sun safety into their daily summer routine. All it takes is one nasty sunburn and it doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. Let’s prevent that.

To keep you and your little ones protected this summer, here are some simple tips to stay sun safe this season:

Put on the sunscreen. Whether it’s sunny or cool and cloudy outside, children need protection and so do you! Use sunscreen that has at least SPF 15 that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. If you plan to have full day of outdoor family fun, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your child 15 minutes before heading outside. Also don’t forget to bring the sunscreen with you and reapply throughout the day especially if you plan to get wet or sweat. TIP: don’t use sunscreen on babies 0-6 months. Their skin is too sensitive for it and it’s best they stay out of the sun altogether.

Put on the shades. Your child’s eyes are extremely vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Protect them with a good pair of sunglasses that has 100% UV protection.

Make a plan. Try to plan family outings before 11am or after 4pm to avoid the sun at it’s strongest.

Get a hat. A hat is a great way to cover some of your child’s most sensitive areas such as their ears, neck, shoulders, scalp and face. The best type of hat to wear for optimal protection is the wide brim hat. More popular options are the bucket or fisherman's hat and the baseball cap. They don't protect as well as as the wide brim so make sure you cover exposed areas with sunscreen.

Chill in the shade. When you can, spend your outdoor time in the shade. Just because you exercise proper sun safety, doesn’t mean it’s suddenly okay to bask in the sun. Unless it’s unavoidable, always seek shade.

When you can, cover up. A light long sleeve cotton shirt and pant is both fresh and comfortable for your child to wear during the summer but also provides great protection.

If worse comes to worst and your child gets a burn, bathe them in tepid water to cool down. Afterwards, lather on the aloe vera. Trust me, aloe vera is your best friend so always keep some handy just in case. If the burn is hurting them, give them ibuprofen for some pain relief. And obviously keep them away from the sun until they’re fully healed. If your child is 12 months old or younger, take them to the doctor or emergency room immediately even if the burn is mild. Sunburns on infants are sometimes a lot more serious than they first appear.

We live in a country that’s more winter than it ever is summer. And as much as you and your family want to indulge in all things summer related, remember to stay sun safe. Follow our tips above and we guarantee you and your kids will have a fun, sunburn-free season.

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