When you go out in the sun with your kids, are they protected from the harmful UVA and UVB rays? Are you absolutely sure? Everyone, even those who do not burn or those with darker skin tones need sun protection. This includes the appropriate sunscreen. But summer sun protection for kids goes beyond sunscreen alone. As an experienced mom and former nanny, I’ve learned a great deal about sun protection over the years.
What Time is it?
Watch the clock and go outside only during certain hours. Avoiding the sun altogether is one of the simplest ways to increase sun protection in children. Try to take the kids to the playground or other outings in early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is not so glaring. Other sun protection is still necessary during these hours, but the sun’s rays will not be as intense.
Made in the Shade
If you simply cannot avoid being outside during peak sunlight hours, keep the kids in the shade. Under a tree in the park is one good spot. If there are no good shade trees, try an umbrella. Larger umbrellas offer the most protection for the most people. A sun shade on a baby stroller or carrier can make all the difference for the little ones. The goal is simply to keep the kids in the shade as much as possible.
Watch the Gear
Using protective clothing to cover up the skin is actually the best defense from the sun, even more effective than sunscreen when done correctly. In fact, a recent EWG report states that most suncreen and sunblock products on the market can actually do more harm than good. Some may even cause cancer. When shopping for protective clothing, look for 100% organic cotton with a tight weave. Try to cover as many areas of the body as possible. A brimmed hat with at least 3 inches of brim space is needed to shade the eyes and face.
Hide those Eyes
Along with the hat mentioned above, protect those eyes. Kids need to wear sunglasses with at least 99% protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. This does not necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune on sunglasses for your kids. Even low cost sunglasses can do the trick. As long as the label states between 99 – 100% UV protection, you have chosen the right pair.
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