April showers have come and gone, May flowers have started to bloom, and Mr. Sun is suddenly out and about, shining down on us. As the school year begins to wind down and we look forward to summer months and more time outside, it is so important to protect ourselves and our kids from too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can lead to skin damage, skin cancer, and eye injury.
Sunburns happen as a result of the melanin in our skin reacting to UV rays. The lighter our skin color, the less melanin we have to absorb UV rays, but regardless of skin tone, everyone should be protected from the sun’s rays to prevent damage!
How do I protect my child’s skin?
- Use Sunscreen
The best thing we can do is to come prepared with sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Remembering to reapply sunscreen throughout the day is important and if you are planning on spending time in the water with your littles, shop for water-resistant sunscreen. They even make small patches now you can stick to your skin and it will tell you when more sunscreen needs to be applied! Like these or these.
- Find a Shady Spot
While some sun is great, make sure you have a shady spot ready to rest and reset when you need a break from the heat. In particular, make sure babies are in the shade as much as possible. Babies have skin that burns more easily and you should avoid the sun’s rays whenever possible with the tiniest of humans. If you can’t find a shady tree to relax under or you plan on going to the beach, consider a baby tent or a wide umbrella to keep your child safe.
- Wear Sunglasses
Sun exposure to your eyes can be just as harmful as it is to your skin. Protecting your eyes from the sun can be easy with a side of fashion. Let your kids pick their pair of sunglasses and look for pairs with 99% UV protection or more. Giving your child the power of choice will hopefully help keep the shades on when it matters most! Get started and browse the cutest shades here!
- Light Layers
We mentioned above how important it is to protect babies from the sun. One way you can help keep kids safe is by having the right clothing when you are outside. Children should have lightweight and breathable clothing in warmer months. Sand and water are both capable of reflecting UV rays. Consider investing in rash guards, sun hats, and clothing that covers the body. If the clothing is sheer enough to see your hand through it, chances are it is not enough to be safe in the sun. See some sun-safe options here!
Drinking water is one of the best ways to help kids beat the heat but water should be a part of your family’s day-to-day routine. In the summer, we want to avoid dehydration and overheating by keeping kids as comfortable and cool as possible. Try to aim for 6-8 cups of water a day for your littles and aim for an insulated cup to keep it cool. Keeping foods with higher water contents handy is also a great way to boost water intake and hydration. Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, celery, and pineapple are all high water-content fruits and veggies.
What if my child gets a Sunburn?
Signs of sunburn usually appear within a few hours of exposure to the sun. The skin may become itchy, tight, and red. Try to encourage your child not to scratch (but we all know how hard that is sometimes).
- Applying moisturizing and cooling cream like aloe vera or aloe vera gel can help ease discomfort
- Speak with your child’s doctor about taking pain medication to help with any pain and itching
- Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids!
- Cover up with tightly-woven fabrics and clothing to help keep healing skin safe
Keeping kiddos safe from the sun is not always easy but being mindful of the time of day you head out with your children and the way you prepare can make all the difference. Head outside this summer reassured you are doing the best you can to keep your kids safe from UV rays with a childcare professional by your side. Reach out to The Nanny Authority today and inquire about finding a qualified nanny by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at (973)-466-2669.