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Jun 25

For parents, babysitters and nannies – how to protect children from sun damage

Summer is here! And with it days with long exposures to the sun. Unfortunately, with UV index high in most part of the country, protecting self and your children is crucial. Risks of sunburn or even skin cancer in later life are real. Health Canada had issued a very good fact sheet for every parent, babysitter or nanny, to use when caring for children. I am reproducing it here so you can keep it for reference:

BE CAREFUL when you go outside on a sunny day!

Too much sun can be harmful. You and your baby or child can sunburn in only 15 minutes depending on the UV index value. If the UV index is low (from 0-2), the risk of getting too much sun is low, and no protection is required. If the UV index is between 3 and 7, you need protection. A UV index higher than 8 calls for extra protection. If you travel to the tropics, the index could be higher than 10.

To keep you and your child safe, you should:

  • COVER UP – Wear long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they block both UVA and UVB. They will provide protection against eye damage. Use long sleeves and long pants to protect your baby from the sun.
  • STAY IN THE SHADE – When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, such as a park with big trees. Always take an umbrella to the beach. Always keep your baby in the shade.
  • USE SUNSCREEN when you are outside and the UV index is 3 or more. The bottle should read SPF 15 or higher. SPF means Sun Protection Factor. Put sunscreen on your skin 20 minutes before you go out and reapply 20 minutes after being out in the sun to ensure even application of the product and better protection.

Being a person that is easily burned but loving the outdoors, here are few of my tips that help to keep my family sun safe:

  • Always carry a sunscreen in your beach bag, your purse and the car. This way you will always have it wherever you are.
  • Make it a habit for the family to apply sun screen every 2 hours . Water nor not. I found this is the best way to avoid sun burn.
  • When putting sunscreen do not forget children ears, especially their top. They burn easily.
  • Get everyone to apply an after-sun lotion to sooth the skin. Helps with the tan 🙂 but also decreases sun damage.

What are your tips? Will love to hear them!