Why sun safety for children should be a priority

Monday, February 12, 2018

Why sun safety for children should be a priority

By now we all know that there really is nothing healthy about a suntan. Working with young children, it’s important we help to protect their skin from the sun too. This is because sun damage goes beyond just sunburn. In this article you will get to know why sun safety for children is essential.

The risk of UV exposure

Sun damage is caused by the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun, more commonly known as UV rays.

Sunburn is the type of sun damage most frequently experienced. However spending time in the sunshine without adequate sun protection can cause serious health concerns. For example premature ageing, vision problems and even skin cancer.

In fact, our skin cancer risk is in increased even by the sun damage and excess UV exposure experienced during childhood and adolescence. So protecting children’s skin now can protect their health long term.

Check UV levels

When you’re planning activities, don’t just look at the temperature to assess risk of sun damage — check the UV levels too. Anything over level 3 means sun protection is a must, especially for children’s more sensitive skin. Cancer Council even suggests that when babies are younger than 1-year old they should avoid the sun completely when UV levels exceed 3. There are many great apps and websites to check the UV levels, including the SunSmart app.

A little sun is good

Everyone needs vitamin D to assist our bodies in absorbing calcium to maintain good bone health. So a little sun isn’t a bad thing at all. Just be sure to plan it carefully. The best time to embark on an activity in the sun is before 10am or after 4pm, when the UV index is at its lowest.

Enjoying the sun safely is something every child needs to learn so why not start sharing the message of sun protection now!

Check out 15 tips for children’s sun safety in Melbourne.

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