Summer is fast approaching and with that comes long days at the park, trips to the ocean and amusement parks. What that means is a lot of fun in the sun and parents should remember to protects themselves and their kids against the strong rays that can be harmful to the skin. But not all kids are ready and willing to apply sunscreen when they will be out in the sun. So what is a parent to do?
4 Tips Parents can Use to Get Their Kids to Wear Sunscreen
- Talk to them about it often – When you wake up and see that it is bright and sunny outside, take this time to remind them about how it is going to be really hot today and that it is important to protect their skin. When you are out and about and it is sunny, remind them how important it will be for them to wear sunscreen later when they are playing.
- Make it cool – Kids love superheroes. Make them one by fighting the sun. Sunscreen gives them a “protective shield” that makes their skin operate like superheroes’ suit of armor. When they are ready run out the front door ask them if they have their superhero suit on.
- Involve them in their own health – This will be a good opportunity to educate them about their health and how taking care of themselves is important. Explain how getting a sunburn can happen and how it is easily preventable. Taking ownership of this might even empower them to not only protect themselves, but also remind you about putting sunscreen on!
- Be an example – Don’t give them a reason to remind you to put sunscreen on. If you are going to be outside for a long time with them reach for the sunscreen and begin to put it on yourself before starting anything else. If they see this enough it will become routine and they will expect it.
Sun Safety tips From the American Academy of Pediatrics
For babies under 6 months: Avoid sun exposure and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets a sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
For all other children: Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97-100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave. On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. Use extra caution near water, sand and snow as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
Even though Funderland Park is well shaded, we encourage all attendees to think about how they will protect themselves against the sun’s rays when they arrive. Once you have that taken care, have a good time!