We aren’t known as the sunburnt country for nothing. But according to the Cancer Council Australia, more than 2.7 million Australians are forgetting the importance of sun protection. This Summer keep your baby protected and help your kids build good sun habits they can take with them through life.
When in doubt choose shade
A little bit of Vitamin D is essential for both kids and adults. But excess sun exposure can quickly become dangerous. Between 9am and 4pm is a danger zone for strong UV rays which is essentially the greater portion of your day. Limit your sun exposure to short blocks and make sure that shade is often within reach. Protect your child and yourself in the backyard with a patio awning that can be rolled out whenever the sun beats too strong.
Using sunscreen on babies under 6 months is not recommended due to chemical exposure. So it’s doubly important that they are wearing protective clothing and often in the shade. A canopy equipped pram will offer added sun protection no matter where you and bub are visiting.
Always wear sunscreen
Growing up in Australia means being well acquainted with the terms slip, slop and slap. For really little ones, keep an eye out for baby or toddler specific sunscreens which will be gentler on the skin. Encourage your kids to apply their own sunscreen from around age 3 so that they build the habit before reaching school where they’ll be in charge of their own sun protection. Kids learn best by example so making sure to use sunscreen yourself is going to reinforce how important it is. Make a habit of layering up before you hit the sun lounge and you'll know your kids are getting the right message.
Set yourself a reminder
You might be well aware that sunscreen has a time limit, but it can be hard to recall how long since your last application. If you’ve got a day in the sun planned then keeping on top of your sunscreen schedule is a must. One option is setting a phone timer to remind yourself when it’s time to re-apply. But there’s another, more accurate way.
The folks at My Sun Protection take UV exposure seriously and they have a product that can help keep you safe from the sun. Here’s their recommendation for parents:
“UV is the primary cause of skin damage. Unfortunately we can’t see or feel UV and it's independent of temperature and light. Even on cooler or cloudy days, UV levels can be Extreme. A UV activated product, such as sundicators Sunscreen Reminder Stickers, reminds you to reapply sunscreen and helps you manage your time in the sun.”
Check them out on Facebook or Twitter.
Practising sun safety from a young age is the best way to protect your kids from harsh UV rays and teach them early on the importance of being sun smart in Australia.