With these 7 tips for safe fun in the sun, you will be prepared for a summer of family fun in the sun. Awareness is important for sun safety. With kids, you as the parent have the responsibility of knowing when and how to protect the whole family. That does include yourself, too.
Time in the sun should not be a careless or impulsive afterthought for your and your family. You are not a carefree bulletproof teen anymore. You are a responsible parent with young lives depending on you to keep them safe and healthy.
We live in central Texas where the sun is close and hot and direct for several months of each year.
Our Ozone layer is disappearing. To stay safe from sun overexposure that will make us more prone to skin cancer, we have to protect ourselves! With this in mind, please check to see how these 5 tips can make your family safer in the sun.
Tip # 1 Be Aware of the Time of Day
Be aware of the sun’s dangers at any particular time. A soccer game at 10:AM on Saturday means sunscreen for your soccer player.
All of you who plan to spend the next hour and 30 minutes watching or playing in the sun will need sunscreen protection too.
One of the reasons to like sun block clothing? A shirt will eliminate the need to apply and reapply sunscreen to our arms and the trunks of our bodies. All family members will need to wear wide-brimmed sun hats and sunglasses.
With these precautions, we are well-armed to be out in the sun for the game. At that time of day, and month of the year, and for that length of time.
If you have a little one who is less than 1 year old, you will need a way to keep them shaded the whole time. At 1 year or less, they are simply too young for sunscreen. Their skin has not matured, and all Drs advise them to keep sunscreen off infants. They are just not ready for the bright sunshine.
Know the time of day you will be out and provide suitable sun block clothing and shade as well as sunscreens for older members of your family. Be prepared and help your family stay safe.
Tip # 2 Use Sunscreen Correctly
Do you know how to properly use sunscreen? Are you aware of the use-by dates of the product and the sell-by date? Have you considered the fact that these are not the same thing?
Sunscreen is formulated to stay stable for use for 2 years. This is a requirement of the Federal Drug Administration. Since Sunscreen claims to protect you from cancer, sunscreen is considered medication or an over-the-counter drug. The FDA sets the standards and regulates the manufacture, sale, and use of sunscreens.
So, will an out-of-date product protect you? Well, maybe, but who wants to find out the hard way.? Throw out that stuff that has an expired use-by date on the container. Who knows how long it was on the shelf before you got it?
Make the dates an important part of your buying decision. Don’t get caught with sunscreen that may not work.
Read the directions carefully. When they tell you to reapply every 2 hours, please use this guideline. Maybe it is every 90 minutes of sun exposure.
Make sure your family members reapply after getting in the water, each and every time. This is important for making sure they are protected.
At the soccer game discussed earlier, you may need to reapply more often if your little soccer player works up a sweat. Read lables and be aware.
Sunscreen is important, but directions must be followed to allow the product to work for your family.
So being aware of sun exposure hours and the amount of time your family is in the sun is important. Add to that knowing your sunscreen product and its proper use. (Why We Need Sunscreen)
Tip # 3 Consider Medications
When your family is planning to be out in the direct sun, be sure and consider the medicines you guys take. Double-checking medicines is important. Make yourself aware of the medications that may be in your family’s systems.
I was unaware that some medicines make my skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. This does explain why some sunburns were surprise incidents. When treating allergies and related headaches, I was taking some medications that increased my skin’s sensitivity. Don’t let this happen to you or your family.
Be sure and ask your Dr or pharmacist about all the prescription medication you take. Acne medicines and antibiotics are the 2 medications that members of our family seem to have from time to time.
Don’t forget some over-the-counter medicines your kids take may increase their sun sensitivity. Even their Tylenol. Be sure and take extra sun precautions for family members who may have these meds in their systems. There may be some of the medication left in their system, even though it has been a day or two since the last dose.
Your best protection could be simply covering up. Maybe staying indoors is the best action for right now. When you add extra sun sensitivity, sunscreen can’t always protect your skin.
Keep your family safe by asking questions and reading lables.
Tip # 4
Sun block protection is not a one size fits all thing!
My blue-eyed daughter with strawberry blonde hair and super fair skin had different sun protection requirements from her darker-skinned cousins. Now that was a bummer for her. They could get by with little sun protection, but not her.
As an adult, she is dealing with the results of trying to be like her darker skin toned cousins. We are learning about redhead issues and problems. Do you have a redhead in your family? If so they might benefit from the information here.
Don’t forget to pay attention to where you are at the time of exposure. Are you down at the southern tip of Texas on the beach? You are getting closer to the equator. The sun is stronger, and you must protect yourself. Maybe have shorter outside times.
Tip # 5
Do you guys love the snow and spend some time skiing? Again, you are nearer the sun in the mountains. It is easy to get careless with winter sports because there tend to be more clouds, and it is not hot. We forget that the sun is there, and still dangerous for your skin.
With rays that are reflected from the snow, your kid’s skin will be harder to protect. Make sure you have a face mask that will protect your nose, ears, and neck while skiing. Protecting your family will require some changes unless you are already being extra safe.
Remember that your family will be more cooperative if they see you being careful. You can be a good role model by always using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun.
You will reduce your risk of sun damage, and help your kids learn to use good sun sense.
Tip # 6
Ok, I know we have been in the business of protecting your kid’s skin.
So, you and they got careless and one of the kids got an overdose of sun. This overdose is called sunburn.
What is sunburn? It happens when you or your child are in the sun too long. Usually, there is little pain or sensation of heat in your body immediately. These symptoms usually get worse several hours after exposure to the sun.
Some poor souls experience chills. Because the sun has been on the skin for too long, your skin is dry and often itchy. In fact, the skin has a tight drawn feeling. All very uncomfortable. You or your child may experience some fever. There may be some lightheadedness as well.
The skin that has a sunburn will usually begin to peel 5 to 7 days after the exposure. Help your child, not to scratch or pull off the loose skin. Here is where aloe vera ointments or creams can help.
Keep in mind that the new skin under the sunburn can be susceptible to infection. However, make sure there is no petroleum in the formula of what you are applying to a sunburn. This will make things worse.
Now that you know what a sunburn is, what next?
Tip # 7 Sunburn Treatment
For a minor sunburn, you can treat it yourself at home. However, know that if symptoms are extreme, or if your child has other conditions, a visit to a Quick Care Center may be in order. Especially if you can not get in to see your regular physician. Sunburn can be serious and is not to be ignored.
Immediately upon realizing your child has a sunburn, get them out of the sun. Improvise some sort of shade if there is not a cool house to shelter in.
Help your child take a cool, but not cold bath. If this isn’t feasible, cool wet compresses to the skin can help. The cool should ease their pain, and cool the heat a bit. Cool wet towels work well if you are away from home.
An anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help ease the pain.
More First Aid
I have used pure aloe vera gel to the sunburn areas, but hesitate to recommend a product I don’t know. Things have changed since my kids were young, and there may be other ointments you are comfortable using on your or your child’s skin.
Just make sure it isn’t a petroleum-based product as these formulas tend to hold in the heat, and can cause more burn. When the heat or sweat can’t escape, more skin damage may be done.
If the sunburn is severe and blisters develop, call your doctor. Help your child to know to not scratch, pop, or squeeze the blisters. These wounds can get infected and even cause scarring.
Keep you or your child out of the sun until the sunburn is healed. Any further sun exposure will only make the burn worse and increase pain. Farther damaging the skin and making you or your family subject to skin cancer in a few years. Remember the 7 Tips for Safe Fun In The Sun.
How to Be Safe In The Sun
These tips can help your family as the weather warms up. The days are longer and there’s more time to be outside doing all kinds of fun things!
https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/ (A good information resource)
If you’re going to be out in the sun, especially on a hot day, you need to stay safe. Let’s review how we can be safe.
Don’t Forget Your Sun Safe Tips
Even though the sun is hot, it does some important and really cool things. It helps us stay warm. Flowers and plants grow because of the sun. The sun’s rays give us vitamin D so we can absorb calcium into our bodies easier so we can have stronger bones. However, this happens quickly, so you don’t need to stay in the sun very long.
When your skin’s been exposed for too long to these rays, you get what’s known as a sunburn.
Some people, like my daughter, get sunburn faster than others because of their coloring. Do you have blond or red hair, light-colored skin, or light-colored eyes?
If you answered yes, you’ll tend to get sunburned more quickly than someone with dark eyes and skin.
Where Melanain Fits In This Puzzle
This happens because your body makes less melanin.
Melanin is a chemical that is in your skin that protects you from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing UV rays. People with darker skin have more melanin.
A word of caution here, if you have dark hair or dark eyes, or darker-toned skin, you can still get a sunburn. It will just take a little bit longer.
Sunburns often look bad and feel worse. You may have blisters on your skin. These symptoms can keep your kids inside feeling sore when everyone else is outside having fun.
They increase your chance of getting wrinkly when you get older. I know that is a long way in the future. The thing to be most concerned about is that sunburn can lead to skin cancer as your child becomes an adult.
Because you don’t get those wrinkles immediately, or get sick from too much sun for a couple of hours, you think that won’t happen to you or your kids.
Yes, it can happen.
You are now aware. Stay on alert and protect yourself and your family from too much sun. Reviewing More Than 7 Tips For Safe Fun In The Sun!
While you ou don’t need to hide from the sun completely, you should take these two important steps:
- Always use sunscreen.
- Take mini breaks from the sun often by going indoors or moving into the shade.
These steps are especially important between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Always use sunscreen with an SPF broad spectrum with a rating of 30 or higher.
Apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, to keep you and your family safe. Apply more often if you’ve been swimming or sweating a lot. Even when the sunscreen is waterproof.
And remember that you can get sunburned more quickly when you’re swimming or boating because of the reflection from the water. The reflected rays are harder to protect yourself from.
You may need to add some sun block clothing to keep those areas protected without having to reapply messy sunscreen. Blocking the sun from your body can make your protection job easier and more complete.
Don’t forget your eyes. They need protection from ultraviolet rays, too. Always wear your sunglasses in the sun.
Remembering to drink water is an essential part of staying healthy. This is especially important when it’s so hot outside. When you’re sweating, you lose water that your body needs. And if you’re busy playing a sport or running around in the sun, you lose even more water.
We are often unaware of the amount of fluids we are losing to sweat when playing in the sun.
Stop often and drink up. Stay aware and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Drinking before you feel thirsty helps keep the water level in your body from dropping too low. Dehydration is common when it’s hot or you’re sweating a lot with exercise. Stay aware.
If you forget and suddenly you feel thirsty, start drinking your water then. Water is important to many of your body’s functions and when in the sun, easy to forget.
With lots of cool-looking water bottles around, get one you really like. Fill it up, and drink up!
Tip# 8 (Bonus)
When you’re out in the hot sun or you’re exercising on a hot day, heat exhaustion is another issue to be on the lookout for. You as a parent can spot this at soccer practice, or during a game. Most coaches are aware, but you can help by paying attention as well.
Kids can develop heat exhaustion when their bodies can’t cool themselves fast enough. A child experiencing a case of heat exhaustion might feel overheated or tired, and weak.
Heat exhaustion usually comes on suddenly. Your child may just collapse when playing soccer or tennis, for example. It can leave you feeling tired and drained after it happens.
Heatstroke is a serious heat-related condition. This condition can cause you or your child to stop sweating. You may have red, hot skin with a high temperature.
You or your child might become uncoordinated, confused, or even lose consciousness if you are having heat exhaustion. This condition requires emergency medical attention.
Help your child know to tell an adult if they’re hot and have a headache or feel dizzy or like they’re going to throw up.
The grown-up should help get a suspected heatstroke victim out of the sun. Encourage the victim to drink liquids, and take them to a doctor, if necessary.
You Can Have Fun In The Sun
The good news? The sun doesn’t have to be your enemy. You must help protect yourself and your family. Wear your sunscreen, drink water, and take breaks when you start to feel too hot.
And don’t forget your sunglasses. Besides protecting your eyes from the sun, they make your kids look so cool! Remember the sun block shirts, wide-brimmed hats to help your sunscreen.
Safe fun in the sun is the way we all must live. Let’s all learn together. Parents must talk to their kids. They are smart and want to be able to help themselves. Empower them with information, and tools to protect themselves and by being a good role model for safe sun protection practices.
Sami’s Take on 7 Tips for Safe Sun Fun
I hope you have become aware of the importance of taking care of yourself and your family’s skin. The information for 7 Tips For Safe Fun was researched and curated to help you be aware.
Yes, it is a bit awkward to do. Most good habits are somewhat difficult to start with. You are doing something different, and it really isn’t that much fun. Gathering up all the stuff needed for being out in the sun.
Start by laying out the shirts your family has already to protect their skin from the sun. Think back to what has been mentioned here as good items to protect your family with. Get the shirts on your family to protect them.
Do your kids get up early? In our part of the world, this is an excellent time to get outside. Start the day with playtime outside.
Then bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out with their milk for a Breakfast Picnic. So much better for them than laying in front of the TV or other electronic device until everyone gets bored and began to aggravate and tease each other.
You may be able to do something as simple as rescheduling the morning for a reasonable way to get the kids out in less sun-dangerous times. After a couple of hours outside everyone will be ready for some time in the house where it is cooler, and no sun dangers.
Think about it. Taking care of your family’s skin does not have to be so hard. Little changes can make a big difference.
Think about how you can delay evening playtime till after 4 PM. There is still daylight left to get out and enjoy being outside. If sun blocking clothing is not in the picture for you, changing the schedule may be a better way. Just stay sun safe.