Sun Safety - How to dress for success.
Aug 08, 2017
Whether you're sending your child off to day camp, school or you're on a family vacation, there's nothing more important than protecting their young, sensitive skin from the sun -- and yours too! To make sure your child has a fun, safe day outside in the nice, hot summer weather, here are a few ways you can help your child dress.
Tip #1: Get in the habit of wearing an SPF like it's a second skin
No matter what time of year, the sun’s rays are always shining and skin is always susceptible to burn - especially young children’s. So, before you start putting on the layers of clothing and shoes and hats and sunglasses, find a high-quality, natural sunscreen and get your child in the habit of putting it on regularly throughout the day. Look for a high SPF content, and ones that don't irritate the skin. There are a lot of brands on the market, so do your homework and find one that your child will feel comfortable and confident putting on themselves when you aren't around. Sunscreens made of natural ingredients aren't as harsh on the skin like other types, so look out for alternative brands that provide awesome protection with fewer chemicals. Consider this the ‘base layer’ of clothing - so to speak - to keep your child safe in the sun for most of the day. Of course, reapply it regularly and generously. You can also find moisturizing SPF body lotions that are more suitable for the autumn and winter time. This keeps the pattern going year-round and teaches kids to moisturize their skin after they've showered or bathed. Besides, the sun rays are always out, and are far stronger than we think!
Tip #2: Cover up in lighter colours
Of course, it's tricky to want to wear a full pant suit and long sleeves on a hot summer day, but the more you are able to cover your child’s skin up, the better protected they are from the sun. Look for lighter colors, with earthy tones and ones that don't quite attract the sun as much as black or navy shades. Also, look for fabrics that aren't sheer, are high quality and durable, so that not only do they last, they shield young skin from the sun. Going hand-in-hand with covering up, is teaching your child to look for shade and staying hydrated as often as possible.
Tip #3: Find a fun hat they’ll love to wear
Maybe it has Dora the Explorer on it, their favourite Disney character, or simply just their favourite color - whatever the case, make sure your child has a hat that they love wearing and showing off to their friends. Not only will wearing a hat protect their skin and their body (depending on how big it is), it will also help keep them cool. As mentioned, make sure it's a hat that they love, so this might mean taking them on a shopping trip to pick one out, or having different options to change it up and have fun with it. It's also extremely important to lead by example, so if they see you wearing a hat, they will too!
Tip #4: Don't underestimate the value of a good pair of sunglasses
There are so many sunglasses on the market that are targeted to children, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're always a good product. Look for sunglasses with strong UVB or UVA protection, and get them wearing them as young as possible. The skin around the eyes, and the eyes themselves can be severely damaged without proper protection. Be prepared to replace eye protection often, as kids sometimes treat them like a toy or keep them lying around. To prevent breakage, look for shatterproof, high-quality sunglasses, and better yet, ones that connect on the back of the head to ensure they stay in place. Much like with the appeal of getting your child to wear a hat, you may have to look for ones made with their favorite character or their favorite colour on them, just to start anyway. And of course, monkey-see, monkey-do, so keep your shades handy!
Tip #5: Be calm and cool in the face of any sunburn
As parents, one of the hardest things is seeing our children hurt. Even though we do our best to prevent sunburn sometimes they do happen. It's on comfortable and it's painful and your child will want to complain about it, however, it's important to be calm and cool, and approach it in a mellow way to calm the child. Aside from having a cool bath or shower, drinking more liquids to replenish the skin, and using this as a learning example, keep creams with an aloe vera base on hand and apply generously. Monitor your child as much as possible and just possible look for signs of heat stroke, especially if they say they aren't feeling very well.