Sun Protection for Young Children
Australian summers are long and hot. With an extreme UV rating on most days during summer, as a mother and a science teacher, I understand the importance of protecting your baby, toddler or child from the sun.
The SunSmart program run by the Australian government recommends you protect yourself and your children in the following ways - Slip, Slip, Slap, Seek and Wrap.
Slip on sun-protective clothing
Clothing can protect you from UV radiation. On extreme UV days, dress your children in loose fitting, dark/bright coloured clothing as these offer the best sun protection. If a fabric is stretched or wet it offers less protection, That's why rash vests are a great idea at the beach. The fabric has been specifically treated for UV protection. Kicky Swim is an Australian brand that makes rash vests and swimwear for young children.
Slop on sunscreen
Liberal application of sunscreen on babies under 6 months old is not recommended. Some parents prefer physical sunscreens that are either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based as opposed to chemical sunscreens for their children. My personal favourite sunscreens for young children are WotNot and MooGoo.
Slap on a broadbrim hat
Get them a comfortable, broad brim hat that they will wear. I know how hard sometimes it is to get your little ones to keep their hat on so here are my tips. Get a hat with a soft brim with a chin strap. Get babies used to a hat as early as possible and also make them wear a hat at the park during winter as well.
Bedhead hats offer excellent sun protection thanks to their design and UPF+50 rating. They are the best hats I have found for babies and young children.
If possible go to a park with natural shade and a shade cloth. Bring an umbrella or sun shelter to the beach. Do something indoors during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest.
Wrap on Sunglasses
Over exposure of UV radiation can damage both the cornea and retina in your eye and which could possible cause skin cancer, cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunglasses are a great way to protect your children's eyes. Sunglasses designed specifically for babies and young children include Babiators and Roshambo.
I hope you found this blog useful. What is your best tip regarding sun safety?