The sun can be incredibly dangerous to everyone, especially children. Their eyes and skin are so fresh and new that they are at risk for sunburns. Sunburns are not only extremely painful and uncomfortable, but they can also cause skin damage. The sun can also cause a child to get overheated, making heatstroke a serious concern.
When it comes to the sun and sun safety, there are a few myths out there that need to be debunked to make sure every family can have safe fun this summer.
Temperature & Clouds Don’t Matter
According to She Knows, it is important to make sure you are applying sunscreen when it is cool and on a cloudy day. A common myth is that sunburns only happen on a clear and sunny day, but if the family is spending time outside and there is good cloud coverage, children still need to wear sunscreen. That is because 80% of UVB and UVA harmful rays can filter through the clouds.
Sunscreen is also wise on a day when it is not that warm. The temperature does not play a large role in the elimination of rays, and some have been known to get sunburns in the winter.
Sunscreen Is Enough
When mom is getting ready to take her family outside, she may lather on the sunscreen and think that her children are good to go. According to Queensland Government, sunscreen is not enough protection against the sun. Sun protection should be considered a “toolbox,” and sunscreen is just one of the tools in the box. Mom should also have her children wear a sun hat that has a brim and sunglasses to help protect her children’s heads and eyes from the sun.
Some believe that you only need to apply sunscreen if you are going out between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm because that is when the sun is highest in the sky and the strongest. This is not true. Anytime you want to go outside and it is daylight, you need to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen also needs to be reapplied, and it should be put on 20 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreen is only most effective when it is used appropriately.
According to Parents, parents can have a false sense of security as they feel the higher the SPF, the safer their child will be and they won’t have to worry. While parents should aim for sunscreen with a high SPF, that is not all that matters. They still need to make sure that they are reapplying. It is also important to note that the term “waterproof” on sunscreen can be misleading. What that typically means on sunscreen is that it can last up to 80 minutes in water, and then it needs to be reapplied.
What About Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important for healthy growth and development, and a lot of parents rely on the sun to give their children a good dose of this vitamin. However, this is not something that a lot of parents need to be concerned about. Meaning that no extra steps need to be taken to make sure your child is getting enough vitamin D. If your child is outside playing frequently, they are likely getting all the vitamin D that they need. This can also be found in multivitamins, milk, and orange juice.
A lot of families hit the road with their families and spend hours in the car getting to their destination. Parents may not realize that they should be applying sunscreen to their children for the time that they are in the car. While car windows can offer some protection from UVA and UVB rays, it is often not enough and children can get a sunburn from being in the car for too long without protection.
Skin damage and cancer are typically something that occurs due to years of damage, and you may not be able to control what your children do when they are older, but you can give them a great start by making sure that they are protected when they are children.
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Sources: She Knows, Queensland Australia, Parents
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