The Importance of Sun Protection and your Child

With summer well and truly upon us it is vital you teach your child the importance of sun protection. Even when the clouds are out, UVA and UVB rays are still causing damage to your little ones delicate skin.

So slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat! Make it fun by showing your child this videos featuring ‘Sid the Seagull’. If the video does not delight, I am sure that the jingle will certainly strike a chord! Growing up in Australia I was very familiar with the ‘slip, slop, slap’ catch cry and can vividly remember singing along to ‘Sid’, as he danced across the TV screen. It is certainly an effective way to broadcast the dangers of sun exposure, I still remember it some 20 years later!

Another tip: Look for ways to engage your child by teaching them fun facts about the sun and the solar system. Get interactive with games, drawings and online resources. The Canadian Cancer Society is full of great tips and advice.

These few tips are worth noting:

  1. 11am-4pm is when the sun is at its strongest. Avoid/limit outdoor activities during this time.
  2.  For kids aged 6 months and older, select an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent both sunburn and tanning. Choose a sunscreen that states on the label that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (referred to as “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). Remember to reapply every 2hrs!
  3. Common areas missed: lips, ears and nose. These parts of your body burn easily so make sure to remember them!
  4. Don’t forget: Be a good role model by consistently wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, using sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun. These preventive behaviors not only reduce your risk of sun damage, but teach your kids good sun sense.

In short, the sun is vital to your child’s development however, there is a fine line between getting enough Vitamin D and damaging your child’s skin. Therefore, prevention is definitely key!

Katie Gilligan, Full time On-Call Booking Agent