Once summer comes around, kids (and adults) everywhere are excited to play outside–and that’s a good thing. The sun serves as a primary source of Vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. We shouldn’t shelter our children from the sun, but it’s important to protect them from the dangers of overexposure. Parents know that they should apply sunscreen to children, but many of the other important safety measures are often overlooked. Here’s what you’ll need for a sun-safe summer:
Sun damage doesn’t just occur to people who have bare skin exposed to the sun–it can also penetrate the skin under clothing. So, if you throw a white t-shirt onto your kids at the beach, you’re only really providing them with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 7. The safest option is to apply sunscreen all over their bodies, but that won’t help once it wears off–sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. With that in mind, you’ll want to opt for coverups or swimsuits that already include sun protection.
At Lands’ End, you’ll find UPF 50 in nearly all of their kids’ swimwear, which blocks up to 98 percent of harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays! Many of the items in the collection include materials that are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant. One of their best-selling items, the rash guard, provides additional coverage on the back and shoulders, but you can also find swimming trunks, tankinis, one-pieces, and more. There’s a size for nearly every kid, including toddler, big boy/girl, little boy/girl, plus, slim, and husky.
UV EXPOSURE MONITORING WRISTBANDS
Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds. Ultraviolet radiation also increases 4 percent for every 1,000-foot increase in altitude, so even skiers have to worry about sunburn!
UV Exposure monitoring wristbands are the easiest and least expensive method to avoid the sun’s wrath. The UVSunSense™ wristbands provide you with a simple sun-sensitive gauge through color change that alerts you when you need to reapply sunscreen and when to get out of the sun.
Children’s skin isn’t the only part of their bodies that need protection from the sun–their eyes are vulnerable as well! Just one day in the sun can result in a burned cornea, and continuous exposure can lead to cataracts or blurred vision. The best way to protect your children’s eyes is through a good pair of sunglasses. Keep in mind–even if a pair comes with dark, tinted shades, that doesn’t mean it will block out harmful sun rays. You’ll need to look for ones with 100% UV protection.
At REI, they specialize in outdoor gear, so they understand how important UV protection is. All of their kids’ sunglasses come with 100% UV protection. Prices start at $12.99.
Just like the rest of the skin, lips can suffer from prolonged sun exposure. Lip balm with SPF can both prevent and heal lip sunburns.
One way to encourage your children to use lip balm is by offering kid-friendly flavors. Bonne Bell Lip Smacker has Starburst, Skittles, Dr. Pepper, and other unique flavors, so kids will be excited to try them all out. What they probably won’t know is that it has SPF (Sun Protection Factor) built inside!
Human bodies are mostly composed of water. Babies and children in particular have a higher percentage of water in their bodies than adults do; babies are born with 78% water in their bodies, while adults generally have 55 to 60%. Water in humans works like oil does for machines–it’s crucial for nearly every bodily function. Yet, despite its importance, doctors have reported that most Americans do not get enough hydration. Last year, it was estimated that 75% of Americans suffered from chronic dehydration!
In order to ensure that your kids remain hydrated during the hot summer days, you’ll want to make sure that water is always available on hand. Tervis water bottles are high-quality, spill-free, and they come in tons of different fun designs. You can inspire your children to drink more by adding fun straws, or even making a game out of it. For example, if you pick the Peanuts water bottle, you can tell your children to first get Charlie Brown’s eyes out from “underwater.” Then, you can tell your children to get Woodstock out from “underwater,” and then Snoopy’s nose, and so forth. As time passes, you can continue to encourage your children to gulp down water.
In addition to the game, you should flat-out explain to your kids just how important water is. That way, if they’re on a play date or away at camp, they know to drink water without being prompted. Just don’t forget to pack their bottles!