Summer is right around the corner. That means it’s time for backyard barbecues, pool parties, beach excursions, 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 (and yourself!) safe from the sun’s UV rays and sunburn. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one blistering sunburn or getting burnt five or more times in childhood more than doubles the lifetime risk of melanoma.
While sunscreen should be applied liberally and frequently throughout the summer, and children should avoid sun exposure at peak hours (10am-4pm), 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. That type of creative fun can easily be applied to the outdoors in the summertime!
Building a fort or setting up a tent in the backyard is a great way to make sun safety fun. Chances are your kids don’t want to be badgered every couple hours about putting on more sunscreen –“Mom, come on… I just put on some sunscreen.” Build a fort or set up a tent, and being protected from the sun becomes fun! It’s a win-win!
Teach Kids About the Sun and Clouds
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun in less than 15 minutes. It’s important to follow the steps to sun safety even on cloudy days. Talk about how the sun’s position changes during the day and how that affects the strength of the sunshine. Talk about the different cloud types and how clouds affect the climate.
Be sure to stress how clouds can’t protect us from the sun’s UV rays. Clouds only filter sunlight, and these rays, not the temperature, are what damage skin. While you’re teaching kids about the sun and clouds, throw in some fun facts about skin, too. Like how our skin takes up 15% of our body weight, is the body’s largest organ, and renews itself every 28 days!
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 note 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!