Sun Safety Tips for Kids

Keep your kids sun safe this summer

Thankfully, June is just around the corners and that means sunny skies and more time outside! After a long winter and the highs and lows of early spring the sun is definitely our friend, but remember the sun can be dangerous, particularly for children.  An Inflatable Bouncer, Obstacle Course or  game from The Backyard is a great way to get the whole family outside to enjoy the amazing weather. There are units with roofs to provide shade and options for all sizes of yards, families and budgets.  With proper supervision and by following these rules set out by the Canadian Pediatric Society you can keep your child safe and healthy while you enjoy the great weather this weekend and all summer, whether that’s in Our Backyard or Yours:

Avoid being in the sun for long periods of time at the start of the season. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outdoors with your child over a period of several days. When possible, stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest time of the day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To prevent sunburn:

  • Always protect babies from the sun:
    • Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours,
    • Cover your baby in loose clothing and make sure she’s wearing a hat,
    • Use a stroller sunshade to cover your baby,
    • Properly apply a small amount of sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) 30 on exposed areas. Note that sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months old, who can rub it in their eyes and mouth. 
  • Make sure your child’s favourite play areas have a shady spot or bring along a sun umbrella.
  • Your child should wear a sun hat with a wide brim and back flap to protect the back of the neck, sunglasses with 100% UV protection (“broad spectrum”) and loose cotton clothing to protect skin from the sun’s rays.
  • At least 30 minutes before heading outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on all areas of your child’s skin that will be exposed to the sun. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 as well.
  • Remember to put sunblock on ears, nose, back of neck and legs, and tops of feet.
  • Reapply sunscreen every few hours and after swimming or vigorous play.

Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Children don’t necessarily feel thirsty while at play. 

Be alert for signs that your child is experiencing heat illness and needs to go inside. These include thirst, fatigue, leg or stomach cramps, and cool, moist skin, which can be a sign of heat exhaustion. Bring your child inside or into a cool, shady area, and offer frequent, small sips of water. Removing extra clothing and fanning can help your child cool down slowly. 

Most importantly, lead by example and remember to protect yourself from the sun as well.

For more information on sun safety you can check out the source document posted on the Canadian Pediatric Society website, or by checking out the Government of Canada Sun Safety Tips.

May 27, 2020