According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a human being is mostly exposed to the sun during childhood – contributing to 80% of the time. The risk comes in when you notice that a blistering sunburn has already formed since it can be a contributing factor to future skin complications. Before we go through what you should do to protect your kid from harmful sun rays, the details below pertain to what sunburns can do to your child’s skin.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Sunburns?
- Teaching Your Kids on How to Protect Their Skin under the Sun
- Effects of Too Much Sun
Science tells us that as the sun rays radiate the earth’s surface, it contains UV among other rays. When they land on the skin, they cause some sort of burning, tanning and other skin damages that are critical to the overall health of your kid.
UV rays are categorized into two:
- UVA rays: They are the main contributors to early aging and wrinkling. In addition, they also contribute to formation of cancerous cells which cause melanoma – the most hazardous form of skin cancer. They can pass through the ozone layer easily so they are part of what we gain from the sun’s exposure.
- UVB rays: Another dangerous part of the UV composition and they are known to cause cataracts, sunburns and an extent of compromising the immune system. They also result to skin cancer, a notion that drives the thought of melanoma being associated with extreme UVB exposure if the child is below twenty years of age.
Skin’s exposure to UV rays causes their reaction with melanin found in the skin. If your kid has sunburns, it means that the exposure level to the rays is greater than what the skin could handle. More damage is dependent on exposure intensity. Developing a tan is not a good sign to the skin’s protection.
Teaching Your Kids on How to Protect Their Skin under the Sun
Well, if your kid is not old enough to learn, you can learn and do the implementation. Otherwise, kids need to know the following when they are out there:
It does not matter what it takes to make it stick in their head, but they need to know that the sun has its remedies and dangers. Here is an easy list of what your kid should remember:
- Dress appropriately by wearing protective clothing
- Make it a habit to apply sunscreen
- Carry an umbrella to provide shade
- Take a shade under trees or inside buildings
- It is a good idea to wear a hat and sunglasses
2. Let them know the shadow rule
When kids discover their shadows, they tend to play with them. For them to remember when to seek for a shade, you can show them the rule, “If your shadow is short, Find shade.” With that, it will be easier for them to know that when the height is longer than the shadow, the sun rays are not friendly anymore. Kids need practical lessons. So, go out there when it’s 12pm and emphasize what you just said in the morning or minutes earlier.
Reports from the Skin Cancer Foundation suggest that kids between over 6 months and 10 years old to have some eyewear. The reason behind the gesture is that kids in the above mentioned age bracket are at a higher risk than the adults to experience ocular changes brought about UV rays’ damage. The necessity of the recommendation is agitated by the fact that kids’ eyelids and skin surrounding their eyes is an easy prey to sun rays when compared to their parents or guardians.
For children to learn on when to wear the sunglasses, tell them to pull out their pair when they see adults wearing. Now that you have told your kid to have some shade for their eye, it will be better if they choose what will suit them.
4. Noticing when the sun is heavily shining
The sun rays are more robust between 10am and 4pm. Teach the kids on how to note time of the day before heading out for a bike ride. They will know that it is time to wear appropriately and grab the sun gear without having to remind them every time.
5. When wet and sweating, apply more sunscreen
There are powerful screens that boast to be waterproof. That does not dismiss the need to reapply after a swimming session or just outside playing. Let them know that they need more sunscreen after they have finished playing and basking which causes wetness due to too much sweat. They will not go along with the idea at first but keep on chasing, the struggle will slowly decrease as they learn of the emphasis.
6. What is the UV Index?
Since it is a habit for us to check the weather every morning, it is also important to note the UV index. You can subscribe to programs that deliver UV index emails or download a compatible app to your device to help you see the UV index in your zip code. Higher UV values indicate that the kid should improvise sun safety measures.
It would be easier for your kid to take sun safety lessons from a pediatrician than from you. Include sun safety ideas in your conversation with the child specialist on what your kids should be taught. As kids get older, they began to notice tans and associate it with beauty. A specialist is in a better position to guide them on the right path.
8. Parents are better role models
A kid is more likely to follow what you do than telling them then sitting down to watch. Your child not going to wear sunglasses or a hat regardless of how cool he or she would look unless you lead by example. So, strap the boots and walk the talk.
It is hard for you to teach the kids a routine and then add something to the list. On the other hand, sunscreen use is important which makes it a good idea to have them apply it after washing in the morning or use your method of instilling the protocol into their morning preparation schedule. Place the sunscreen package somewhere they can access it or figure out something.
Effects of Too Much Sun
- Going pink: It takes less than 15 minutes for UV rays to damage unprotected skin. For you to see what the sun has done to your kid, it will take about 12 hours before you see the full effects of exposure. If you notice some pink signs on your child’s skin in the evening, there is a high chance it will be burned when you wake up the next day.
- Tans: Tanned skin means damaged skin, period! If there is change in your child’s skin color after spending time outside, then know that UV rays played a role in the impairment.
- Is the weather cloudy? Children will still need to stay protected since the skin is affected by harmful UV rays and not change in temperature. Clouds only filter the UV rays and it is only a slight control.
Kids are growing and so is the skin. To keep it protected, exercise the lessons above to make sure that your child stays healthy and protected while outside during hot days.