4 things you need to know about protecting your family's skin from the sun
The weather is glorious, but fun in the sun needs to be safe
This weekend, the sun came out for what felt like the first time this year, finally giving us a chance to soak up the weather and the lovely, beautiful heat and vitamin D we all need.
However, we need to watch ourselves from the sun's rays for however long this good weather continues.
Sunburn, to put it simply, is the response to UV damage to the skin. And while a little sunburn can cause redness, itching, peeling, and blisters, a more severe burn can cause extreme blistering, dizziness, fever, pain, chills, nausea, swelling, and headache.
And the thing is, sunburns aren't over once the redness and peeling has gone.
"A single sunburn damages the DNA of your skin cells," explains US dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel. "Most people don't realize how impactful just one sunburn can be when it comes to your overall health and risk of developing skin cancer. If you get just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence, you have more than doubled your chances of developing melanoma later in life."
Which is why protecting your skin – and certainly your children's skin – is so, so important, even if you are just out enjoying the glorious sunny weather here at your local park or beach.
Luckily, we're here to give you the top tips on sun safety for kids to ensure your whole family are protected from the sun's harmful rays. Remember, the sun can be surprisingly strong, even on a cloudy day.
So take care out there by following these sun-safety tips:
When is it best to be outside?
The sun's UV rays are strongest between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is highest in the sky, not necessarily when it is hottest. So if you are out in the day, it's best to aim for the shade around then, or plan morning or tea-time adventures instead.
Teach then the shadow rule
A great way of helping your kids understand when the sun is strongest is showing them their shadow. When their shadow is short, that's when they are most likely to get burnt, so their skin needs to be very protected. The easier your family's skin burn, the more care you need to take.
Choosing the right gear
It's important to make sure children are covered up when the sun is strong. Think long-sleeved tops, shade, wide-brimmed hats or caps and sunglasses, along with plenty of cool-down breaks in the shade.
Pick your sunscreen
We recommend using sunscreen with at least SPF15 on four or more stars, on part of your body you can't cover up with clothes. It can be easy to miss bits, especially with wriggling kids, or for it to rub off, so use a generous amount (30ml for the full body of an average-sized adult) and re-apply regularly, every two hours, and after swimming and towelling.