Pack Sun Protection Gear, Even if the Sun isn’t Out
According to the CDC, “Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.” Did you know that children don’t have to be outside enjoying the sand, surf or the pool, to get too much sun? It’s important to protect your child’s skin from the sun whenever she is outdoors. Even if it’s cool and cloudy out there, clouds do not block those harmful rays. When you want to spend time outdoors, plan ahead in case you’re outside longer than expected, be proactive and bring sun protection with you in a tote bag, this could be a hat, extra sunscreen, a long-sleeved t-shirt – or all of these items for maximum protection.
We all know that it’s not the best idea to spend the entire day outside in the sun (even though it can be a lot of fun!), if you do there are many precautions you should take. Keep in mind, sunscreen is not permission to let your kids spend more time in the sun than they would otherwise. Combine sunscreen with other options such as protective clothing and a shade shelter to prevent damage to your child’s skin. Many learn to swim products and pool floats with canopies now come with UPF 50+, so look out for items with additional protective qualities when making your next purchase.
For more tips on sun protection for kids, download this booklet from the CDC, “Play it Safe in the Sun: A guide for parents”: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/pdf/cycparentsbrochure.pdf
Gear for Fun in the Sun
Here are just a few items that can help provide extra shade and sun protection during pool or beach play.
- SwimWays Baby Spring Float Animal Friends with Canopy: This baby float features a huggable inflatable animal toy that turns 360º for interactive fun. In addition to comfortable fabric-covered inflation there’s also an adjustable sun canopy with UPF 50+.
- Kelsyus Island Shade Shack UPF 50+: Sun shelters are the perfect addition for your next beach trip. This sun shelter is easy to set up and easy to carry, it even rolls into its own carry bag and the integrated strap allows you to sling it over your shoulder. The ventilated mesh fabric at the back of the tent allows for air to flow freely, plus the included empty bags can be filled with sand to keep the shelter in place on windy days.
- SwimWays Float Shorty: This cute matching two-piece set of UPF 50+ shirt and swim shorts features sewn-in flotation in the chest area to help your child stay upright as she explores the water.
- SwimWays Swim Vest: Featuring foam inserts that provide balanced flotation as your child learns to swim, this UPF 50+ swim aid also has a safety closure on the front zipper and an adjustable leg harness to help keep the swim vest in place.
- Sunglasses: The CDC also advises that children wear sunglasses to protect eyes from UV rays as they could develop cataracts later in life. Sunglasses that wrap around the head and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays are ideal.
Baby or Kid Sunscreen (not pictured): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. The organization advises that sunscreen should be applied generously 30 minutes before going outdoors and to pay extra attention to ears, noses, lips and tops of feet.
Remember: It’s important to monitor your child’s skin as he plays and to know when to head back inside. Sun exposure may not be immediately visible to the eye and it can take several hours to see the full effect of a day outside in the sun. So have fun out there, but remain vigilant and monitor you and your child’s skin throughout the day.
Lead by example: If mom and dad practice good sun protection these habits will hopefully rub off on the kids. So make sun protection a priority for all family members.
For more information on sun protection for you and your family visit the Sun Safety page on the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/children.htm