The Five S’s of Sun Safety: Keep Your Kids Safe in the Sun
To protect your kids, dermatologists recommend the Five S’s:
- “Slap on a Hat”
The last one may be a stretch, but it helps to remember the best ways to keep safe in the sun.
Swimming and sunbathing aren’t the only activities you’ll have to be wary about. Outdoor sports such as tennis, soccer, baseball, or other sports played between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s at its hottest, are equally damaging. And keep your teens away from tanning beds!
Teach Your Kids the Five S’s to Avoid Sun Damage
Here’s alarming news for parents: The American Academy of Dermatology says that kids can get nearly 25% percent of their lifetime sun damage by age 18. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer and premature aging later on. Even kids’ eyes can get sunburned. Sun protection is a habit that children should acquire early so they carry it over into adulthood.
Slip on a Shirt
Kids can play or swim in T-shirts or tops. You might even want to purchase new lightweight sun-protective fabrics for better coverage. Long-sleeve cotton shirts are great protection.
Slop on Sunscreen
Lavish use of sunscreen — SPF 30 or stronger, with UVA and UVB protection — is important whether the day is sunny or overcast. Keep reapplying it after swimming, sweating, or toweling, or every two hours.
Slap on a Hat
The wider the brim, the better. Choose a tightly woven fabric for the best protection. Scalp sunburns can lead to later-life hair loss, since the strong sun destroys hair follicles.
Slide on Sunglasses
Yes, eyes can get sunburned, even from rays bouncing off sand, water, or pavement. It’s called photokeratitis, and it causes burning and blurred vision. It can also lead to cataracts and macular degeneration later. Kids need the combination of a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect them from UV radiation.
Kids don’t have to be in direct sun to have fun outside, especially around noon. Find a shady spot for picnics or games. Be sure you have a big umbrella, sunshade, or tent at the beach.
Special Sun Protection for Babies
Infant skin doesn’t contain much protective melanin, the pigment that colors skin, eyes, and hair. Babies under 6 months of age are best kept out of direct sunlight because their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. Babies older than 6 months can wear sunglasses and sunscreen and should always wear hats.
Don’t use spray sunscreen directly on your baby’s face; spray it on your hands and apply it gently
Take babies for their walks before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. in a stroller with a sun-protective cover. If you’re driving with a baby, get some removable mesh car window screens or UV window film.
A few sun-protective measures now will pay off in the future. And when they’re older, your kids will be grateful for the good habits you instilled in them. If you’re looking for a more steady source of shade closer to home, get in touch with Superior Sun Solutions today. Get a retractable awning installed so your kids can have fun in your backyard year round!