Tips for staying safe in the sun
Helping you & your children to enjoy the sun safely
It’s great to get outside and spend time in the sun, but it’s important to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. So, take a look at our tips and advice on how you and your children can stay safe in the sun.
How to apply sunscreen
Easy right? We all know to apply it when it’s hot, but are we applying it properly and often enough? One of the biggest mistakes many people make is not applying enough sun cream – aim for about two tablespoons of sun cream to cover your body (while wearing a swim suit) and make sure to rub it in evenly. It’s not enough to just apply it once though. If you’ve been swimming, exercising or sweating, you’ll need to apply it again after each time.
There are a number of ‘once a day’ sun creams available that claim to offer up to eight hours of protection in a single application. Be mindful that for these single-application creams to work effectively, they need to be applied correctly (thoroughly and all over) and reapplied after they’ve been exposed to water.
Top tip: Make sure your sun cream isn’t out of date. Most have a shelf life of two to three years, if kept out of sunlight or high temperatures.
How to apply sunscreen to children
We know that getting kids to apply sun cream is no mean feat! They often need some persuasion and plenty of reminders, but it’s essential that their skin is protected.
The most important thing is to make sure you apply plenty of sun cream on your child. The amount you use depends on the height and weight of your child, but if you’re unsure, just use the same amount you would for an adult – after all, it’s better to apply too much rather than too little. Make sure you cover their whole body: not just the arms and legs but in between fingers and toes, the backs of their knees, behind the ears – everywhere! Be extra careful to apply plenty to their neck and shoulders, as these are common sunburn areas. As you would with yourself, anytime they get out the pool, have done some exercise or are sweating, rub them down and apply more sunscreen.
Top tip: Don’t wait until you get to the pool or the beach to apply sunscreen. Do so 30 minutes before you go out – that way you can be sure to cover all areas and give it time to dry.
How to help stay safe in the sun
In addition to using sun cream, these tips will help you to avoid burning or causing other damage:
• Cover your skin – loose-fitting cotton clothes work best for protecting your skin. Where possible, cover up as much as you can when the sun’s rays are strong
• Wear sunglasses – sunglasses help to protect your eyes from UV rays, so make sure to wear them and never look directly at the sun with or without them!
• Stay hydrated – it’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to help avoid dehydration
• Never leave pets or children unattended in vehicles on a warm day – a car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn't feel that warm. If you see a dog or a child in distress in a hot car, dial 999
How to help keep kids safe in the sun
Many children enjoy playing outdoors when it’s sunny, but it can be easy for their skin to burn if not protected in the right way. These tips can help to minimise the risk:
• Play in the shade – particularly between the hours of 11am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, it’s a good idea to make use of the shade under trees or canopies
• Keep babies out of direct sunlight – their skin is too thin and sensitive before the age of six months to be exposed to direct sunlight, so keep them in the shade
• Get them to wear a hat – a floppy hat is best as it will protect their face and neck
• Cover up – just as with adults, one of the best ways to protect children’s skin is to cover up with loose-fitting clothing
• Keep them hydrated – ensure that babies and children drink a lot of water to avoid becoming dehydrated
Now you’re ready to go and have fun in the sun!