Children love playing in the great outdoors. For them, the great outdoors represents freedom, exploration and learning. For us, it represents fresh air, vitamin D and exercise – all vital elements for a healthy child. However, spending time outside can also lead to overexposure to the sun, which is very harmful to your child.
Dangers of Sun Overexposure for Children
Sun overexposure for children has both immediate and long-lasting impacts on your child’s health.
Immediate dangers include a nasty sunburn, as well as skin irritation and damage. It can also lead to headaches, dehydration, lack of focus and general pains.
The scariest dangers of sun exposure are experienced later in life, as they take years to develop. Too much UV (ultraviolet) exposure can lead to skin cancer, as well as wrinkles and discoloured skin.
Protecting Your Child
In Australia, we get much of our lifetime sun exposure during our childhoods, which means that the best time to teach healthy habits is during your child’s formative years!
When considering how to best protect your child, keep the following factors in mind:
- The time of day is vital, especially in Australia, where there exists a hole in the Ozone layer. For us, that means that the sun is the most intense during the middle of the day, even on cloudy days. Therefore, it’s best to stay in the shade during these times.
- Reflective surfaces reflect and intensify UV rays. Be extra careful around water, snow, concrete and ice.
- Skin type. Everyone should wear sunscreen, no matter their skin colour, but the lighter the colour, the easier it is for your child to become sunburned.
With those factors in mind, here are a few tips which you can follow to help protect your children from overexposure.
- Going outside? Apply sunscreen to exposed skin, and lip balm to lips.
- Between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, keep your child in the shade.
- Encourage your child to wear protective clothing. This should include loose, comfortable clothes that cover the arms and legs; sunglasses to protect their eyes and block UV rays; and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your child’s neck, ears and scalp from overexposure.
Contact Us for Shade Sail Installation
Children should be able to play in the great outdoors without worrying about overexposure to the sun, and although we want to, we can’t always keep them indoors from the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.
The answer to the problem? Shade sail installation. It is an ideal method of protection in situations like this, as it still allows access to the outdoors, but under the protection of shade, therefore allowing your child to have the best of both worlds. If you have any questions about this article, or how we can help you with outdoor shade sail installation, contact us either online or feel free to call us on (08) 94179988. We will be happy to help.