Are you aware of the dangers of sunburn for your kids? Just another thing that I didn’t know about when my family was young. I knew they could get a sunburn, but not how dangerous they could be. The really dangerous thing I didn’t know? Sunburn happens so quickly!
First of all, I had no clue how much I didn’t know about sunburn and my kids. I assumed that they would be fine the next day. If they survived the incident, even with a good deal of discomfort we just assumed they were OK. We didn’t realize that those sunburns were accumulating and the damages were building.
The times they were young, I was not aware that a couple of aspirin could help with the fever they probably had. I didn’t know to make sure they had plenty of cool fluids to drink.
That their skin needed some special care never occurred to me. We put cool towels on them, usually their backs. Yes, there are a lot of guilty feelings when I think about how unaware we were.
As we are starting another summer, hopefully, you are more aware than I was. Your family will be protected and not add to their exposure totals. Hopefully, they will not have skin cancers as they become adults.
What Is Sunburn?
Have you reminded yourself of the basics of sunburn? For a place to start when thinking about protecting yourself and your family this sun season here is an overview of what a sunburn is:
- Red Painful skin that feels hot to the touch
- Usually apparent within a few hours of overexposure to an ultraviolet light source from the sun or sunlamps
- You or your child may have a slight temperature.
- Home remedies will usually give relief to mild sunburn, but the redness and sensitivity of your skin may last several days.
- More severe cases will require medical care from a doctor. Pay attention and don’t get that sunburn.
Remember that even a slight sunburn can be the first step for you or your family members to serious skin damage, especially if repeated excessive sunburn events occur. This can become serious quickly and must be avoided. Sunburn What Is It
If your family is young, the warning about too much sun aging your skin doesn’t seem important. You are all young, and aging seems a lifetime away.
Intense, repeated UV light exposure that results in sunburn increases the risk of other skin damage, such as dark spots, rough spots, and dry or wrinkled skin. It also raises the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma.
You can prevent sunburn and unwanted, but related conditions by protecting your skin. This is especially important when you’re outdoors, even on cool or cloudy days. We tend to let our guard down when we don’t have the beaming hot sun over us. Be aware that the days with the filtered sun through the clouds are dangerous as well.
Consider Improving Your Skin Protection From The Sun
Sun blocking clothing makes protecting your family’s skin from the sun easier. When using sunscreen alone, there is the need to remember to reapply often. If your little one is out playing in the yard remembering to reapply sunscreen as it needs to be can be iffy.
For the family that is spending several hours in a theme park, remember to reapply sunscreen. Just getting everyone protected again just adds to the chances of getting sunburned is a challenge.
A miserable sunburn is not the memory you want to make for your family. The pain and discomfort of sunburn. You want your memories to be of the fun and adventure you experienced.
Putting a lightweight long-sleeved shirt on your child, as well as yourself is so much easier. Remember to bring their wide-brimmed hats for sun protection. They also need sunglasses.
Yes, get some sunscreen on their faces, noses, ears, and necks. Apply some protective lip balm to their lips. Don’t forget about yourself either. Following sun-safe practices will make this a much more fun time.
If your kids are very small, the limited amount of exposure that is safe for them will limit your time out anyway. For a safe playtime in the hot summer remember these basics.
Keep your kids healthy and safe from the sun. If younger than 3 years old no exposure at all to the sun during the 10 AM to 4 PM (in my part of the world). This age youngster needs to be in the house or very deep shade during the hotter time of the day.
Children this young will need sun blocking shirts to protect the trunk of their body if out to play before 10 AM or after 4 PM. This will allow their skin to stay healthy and not get sunburn.
As your children get older you can gradually extend their sun exposure, but care should be continued. We all love to be out in the fresh air and sunshine. Being so careful will be a challenge as you and your families are learning new sun-safe habits.
How will you keep your family safe? Keep them from too much sun and the after-effects of sunburn? If your present lifestyle does not keep your family safe and sunburn free, you will find it difficult to keep their skin safe from the sun.
- If your family frequently comes in with cheeks red from the sun.
- Do your children have tan lines already?
- What about freckles?
If any of these so-called “normal, and inconsequential” situations happen for your family after being in the sun, change may be a bit more difficult. If your family had already established some outside habits, it will be harder to incorporate safer habits.
Changing playtime is usually the first suggestion. Stay out of the hotter time of day by starting playtime outside at 8:30 or 9:00 AM instead of 10:AM.
This is easier to do in smaller increments. Try talking to your friends that you meet at the park for your children’s playtime. Explain your concerns, and request to start 30 minutes earlier. If you start earlier, you avoid the more dangerous times of the sun’s rays.
If you find resistance from the group, you can go 30 minutes earlier. By May when the sun is so hot in our part of the world, your daily routine is already placing safety first. By the first of May, you and your kids are into a safer sun exposure habit.
As the days get really hot and the sum bright you can more easily scoot out of the house 30 minutes earlier at 9:00 AM. Keeping the kid’s skin safe from the sun is your priority here. This may not win any points from your friends who are reluctant to get out earlier. However, they are not responsible for your kids’ skin. You are!
By having outside playtime for younger kids to adapt them to sun safety times, you are allowing them to enjoy the cooler morning time. They will enjoy running and playing in cooler temperatures.
I know that we here in central Texas have extreme weather conditions. Another known fact is that our kids often have sunburns that catch parents unawares. Lifestyle changes are the key to protecting your skin. Successful lifestyle changes happen a little at a time.
Please allow this information and suggestion of a sun-safe time for you and your kids in the sun to be a platform. Give you a place to start building a safer lifestyle for you and your family. Use umbrellas for portable shade anywhere.
Make your awareness levels more in tune with what is better for your family. Just because you have always taken the kids to play in the part from 10:30 until noon does not mean you can’t change. Change to some safer hours for your kids’ skin in the sun. Awareness can make a difference.
Sami’s Take On Danger Of Sunburn For Your Kids
There is a very real danger of too much sun ending in sunburn for your kids. Their skin is younger, thinner, and will require very little exposure to the sun for a sunburn.
If your child is under one year old, they should have closely monitored times in the direct sun. They are still too young for using sunscreen as their skin is so tender and sensitive. 15 minutes in the direct sun is all they need to start their system manufacturing vitamin D, anymore may be getting into sunburn time.
Keep young kids in the shade or out of the direct sun.
As they get older, you can begin to use children’s formula sunscreen that will protect their skin a while longer outside. Remember, sunscreen is not a free ride to have reasonable times in the sun.
Children will be maturing their skin until in their 20s, and sunburns during this time will speed up the damage that their skin is receiving from too much sun.
Kids’ skin is thinner and more fragile and sun exposure should be limited. Dressing your kids in sun blocking clothing will give them protection without the irritation from a sunscreen that is not suited for their skin.
Take care of your youngsters, and help protect them from sun-related problems when they are older.