Now that summer’s here, you and your child will be spending more time outdoors enjoying the warmer weather.
At Birmingham Day Nurseries, we always stay ‘Sun Smart’. Following advice from Cancer Research UK and the NHS, babies and children in our care are used to taking the right precautions in the sun, from wearing a hat (even if we might not want to!) to applying sun cream. To make it easy for you to do the same at home, here are three essential tips.
How to stay Sun Smart
The sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm.
Head indoors during those hours, or keep to the shade. You can create your own, with a well-positioned parasol or play tent.
Clothes are as important as sun cream.
Choose loose cotton clothing and a hat with a wide floppy brim or ‘cape’ to protect the eyes and neck. Shoulders and the back of the neck are the most common places for sunburn.
Apply sun cream about half an hour before your little one will be outside. Make sure to apply it to the shoulders, back of the neck, ears, nose, cheeks and the tops of the feet. If you can, keep shoulders and the back of the neck covered with a floppy or ‘caped’ hat and clothing; these are where many people get sunburned.
Check that you’re using sun cream that protects against both UVA and UVB. The Sun Protection Factor (for example, 30+) tells you how much protection is given against UVB. A star rating of 0 to 5 will indicate how much protection is given against UVA – and your child’s skin needs both. Ideally, you should be using sun cream with 30+ or above SPF and a star rating of 4 to 5.
Why it matters
We all need vitamin D to build healthy bones, and we get that from sunlight. In the summer, white people only need a little time in the sun each day to get enough vitamin D; people with darker skin may need longer in the sun, but have a lower risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Whatever your skin colour, too much UV from the sun is harmful, and overexposure in childhood is a leading cause of skin cancer. That’s why it’s so important to create a Sun Smart routine with your child that they can continue all their lives.