Spring’s here and that means summer is right around the corner.
And, if you’ve been cooped up in the house during this long winter, then I’m sure you can’t wait to get out into the sun and snap out of your cabin fever.
If you’re planning some fun in the sun, you’re going to want to do everything you can to protect your kids from sunburns. A few bad sunburns as a child may seem like a temporary inconvenience, but they can increase your child’s chances of getting skin cancer when they’re older.
Let’s look at easy ways to protect your kids to stay safe in the sun:
The general rule of thumb is that you need to apply (and reapply) sunscreen about every two hours you’re outside in direct sunlight.
Additionally, make sure that you’re using sun protection designated for UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) rays. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to areas like the neck, ears, and face. Use sunscreen that’s waterproof (even sweat can wash off sunscreen) and reapply if you go into the water.
An easy way to protect your child from the sun is by covering them up as much as possible. Now, I’m not saying put the poor kid in a hazmat suit that covers them from head to toe. But, if weather allows, have them wear long sleeves and pants when going outside to protect their arms and legs.
If you’re at the beach or the pool, invest in a swim shirt that has built-in UVA protection. You can protect your child’s face with a big floppy hat (or a baseball cap).
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, darker clothes have been found to provide more protection than lighter colored clothes. (Many people shy away from these because they think the darker colors attract the sun more.)
Finally, don’t forget to protect your child’s eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that offers UVA protection.
Use shade as much as possible! If you’re going to the beach, bring an umbrella or portable “beach tent” so you can get into the shade when the sun gets too hot.
Check with your child’s school to make sure they have a shaded area outside on the playground or the PE practice fields. The sun is at its worst during mid-day (specifically from about noon to 3 or 4 PM). If you can, get outdoors during the early morning or late afternoon and schedule indoor activities during this extreme time.
With a little planning and prep, the whole family can enjoy time in the sun!
No need to be afraid of the sun, especially for your children. Protecting them now, protects them later. It’ll give them lifelong habits that will help them take care of their skin and hopefully stave off skin cancer well into their adult life.
Here are must pack items to bring along with you to sport events:
I can’t say it enough: You’ve got to stay hydrated, no matter what you’re doing. Even if you think you’re just going to be sitting on the sidelines, remember that the sun can really sneak up on you and get you overheated.
And let’s face it—you aren’t just going to be sitting on the sidelines a lot. You’re going to be on your feet, running with the action, and yelling and cheering your kid on to victory.
Sporting event concession stands are notorious for being overpriced and full of unhealthy, sugary sodas and juices. Water will keep you hydrated during the games and keep your throat from drying out, so you can continue to yell your support. If your child runs off from the sidelines to join you, they’re also going to need plenty of water as well.
If you haven’t been to a sporting event for kids in a while, let’s cue you in on one big tip. Chances are the field will NOT have any kind of bleacher seats for you to use, and if they do, the seats are going to be hard metal that will kill your back.
Go ahead and head this off with some comfy captain’s chairs so you can sit in style. I personally like the type that folds up into the easy-to-carry bags and comes with a cupholder for your bottled water.
Soccer, baseball, and other outdoor sports can be brutal underneath the spring-time sun. You’re absolutely going to need shade to keep from roasting.
An absolute must-have is sunscreen. SPF 30 sunscreen will block 97% of the sun’s rays and SPF 50 will take that up just a notch to 98%.
Besides the sunscreen to ward off burns and potential skin cancer, stay safe while outdoors by also bringing an umbrella. (It can double to block out the sun but also to be on hand for any random thunderstorms.) A big floppy hat and a nice pair of sunglasses will round out your ensemble and keep you comfy during the game.
Getting ready for a kids’ sporting event should not require all the packing and preparation as if you’re getting ready to storm the beach at Normandy. But it does require some preparation so that you can be comfortable and safe during the game.