Summer is right around the corner. That means it’s time for backyard barbecues, pool parties, weekend excursions to the beach, and a host of other outdoor activities. Fun in the sun is the name of the game in the summer months, but it’s important to keep children safe from sunburn. According to the Guardian, getting burnt five or more times as a child increases the lifetime risk of melanoma by 80%. While sunscreen should be applied liberally and frequently throughout the summer, and children should avoid sun expose at peak hours (10am-6pm), sun safety can be more interactive and creative, too.
Build an Outdoor Fort
Building a blanket house is a popular indoor activity during the winter months, and that type of creative fun can easily be applied to the outdoors during the summertime. Building a fort or setting up a tent in the backyard during the summer is a great way to make sun safety fun. Chances are your kids don’t want to be badgered every 30 minutes about putting on more sunscreen –”Mom, come on… I just put on some sunscreen.” Build a fort or set up a tent and your kids won’t even know that you’re protecting them from the sun; they’ll just think you’re the coolest Mom on the block. It’s a win-win!
Teach Kids About the Sun and Clouds
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun is less than 15 minutes. It’s important to follow the steps to sun safety even on cloudy days. Talk to kids about how the position of the sun changes over the course of the day, and how that affects the strength of the sunshine. Talk about the different cloud types, how clouds affect the climate, and how they can’t protect us from the sun’s UV rays… clouds only filter sunlight. At the same time, if you’re teaching kids about the sun and clouds, you might as well teach them something interesting about human skin too. Children like strange and unusual facts, so mention that skin makes up one fifth of our body weight.
Weathering the Pink
Having a child cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, drink plenty of fluids, and seek shade during peak sun hours are all good ways to promote sun safety. But why not get more creative? Turn sun safety into an art activity and have your children design a sun hat. Health experts say there’s no safe or healthy way to get a tan, but you can help kids weather the pink with these creative sun safety tips. It’s time to make fun in the sun… more fun.
Do you have any tips for keeping children safe from the sun? If so, please share them with us!