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Parenting & Education in Ireland


Keeping Kids Safe in the Sun



While everyone loves a break from the rain, it is important to protect ourselves and our kids against the harmful risks that come hand in hand with the glorious sunshine. So whether you're heading abroad or staying at home, remember that harmful rays from the sun can cause damage, even on a cloudy day, so always have sun screen at hand this Summer!

Timing

If you're heading out into the sun with the kids, try to stay in shaded areas between 12-3. This is when the sun is at its most powerful and will do the most damage. Remember that as little as 15 minutes spent in the sun’s rays may result in sunburn. Bringing a small tent or umbrella will be very useful so as to create your own shady spot.

Clothing and protection

Dress the children for the hot weather. Make sure that kids are wearing hats and cover ups so as to reduce the risk of sunstroke. Sunstroke occurs when too much time has been spent in the sun, resulting in an extremely high body temperature. It can be very serious and in some cases may cause the sufferer to fall unconscious. Staying in the shade and covering heads and shoulders will reduce this risk. Dressing your kids in appropriately cool clothing will also reduce the risk of heat rash.


Young eyes are particularly vulnerable to harmful UV rays. Protect your child’s eyes by having them wear sunglasses at all times. The sun’s rays will be even more powerful at the beach or at sea as they will be reflected off the sand and water. Protecting your eyes is just as important as protecting your skin, so don’t forget to dig out those glasses from the bottom of the sand laden beach bags! Apply sunscreen regularly, making sure not to forget to reapply after the kids have been in for a dip. Use high factors so as to best protect the family from the sun’s extremely harmful UV rays.

Hydration and medication

Keep yourself and your kids hydrated by bringing water along with you wherever you go. If your kids find it hard to drink large volumes of water, have them eat juicy fruits such as watermelon, which has an extremely high water content at more than 90%. Watermelon also has the added bonus of being lower in sugar than many other fruits. If your kids are taking any medications, make sure to double check if they are going to be affected by sun exposure. Some medications will make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays and may result in bad sun burn within minutes.



Finally, make sure not to leave kids or pets in the car in the hot weather. Leaving anyone in the car during warm weather is extremely dangerous and is to be avoided at all costs. A car will act like a greenhouse, heating up to a high temperature in very little time. Car interiors are often made in dark colours which will attract the sun, creating a dangerous environment especially for pets, kids and the elderly.