Sun Protection For Children on the Playground

Under the hot African sun, most of us are well aware of the uncomfortable and painful consequences of sunburn. What many people are less familiar with is the harmful effect of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on the skin, even when we do not burn. Long-term exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to premature aging of the skin and possibly even skin cancer. Young children, whose skins are more sensitive than that of adults, are at even greater risk of long-term damage and sunburn.

Sunburn is, in fact, a painful inflammation of the skin characterised by the skin changing colour, ranging from a mild redness that can disappear after a few hours, to a blistered, swollen skin that sloughs off before it heals. The seriousness of sunburn depends on the intensity of the sun and the length of time spent where the sun’s rays can reach you. Acute sunburn can cause chills, light-headedness and even fever.

Sunburn can be avoided by adhering to simple common sense steps. You can implement these steps without detracting from your children’s enjoyment of playing outside in the wonderful sunshine.

1. Keep exposed skin covered with a lotion containing 안전놀이터 chemicals that act as a sun block or a sunscreen. A sun block filters out all of the sun’s rays that burn, whereas a sunscreen will filter out most of them. Sun creams provide a numeric indication for the degree of protection they provide – known as SPF or Sun Protection Factor. An SPF of 2 means that after the cream has been applied, twice the normal time will pass before the skin is burned by the sun. It’s best to lather your child with a sunscreen which provides maximum protection.
2. Sunscreens should be applied at least 15 to 20 minutes before going out into the sun in order for it to be most effective.
3. Reapply sunscreen regularly as sweat and water may cause to become ineffective. Even the waterproof varieties must be reapplied, especially if the children are swimming.
4. Hats are essential when playing out in the sun – a good broad-brimmed hat is ideal in order to provide as much coverage of the face, ears and neck as possible.
5. Be aware of reflected sunlight. Even when children are under the cover of an umbrella, sunlight can be reflected by the beach sand or water and burning can take place, so sunscreens are still necessary.
6. Covering the body is not always practical in very hot climates, but it does go a long way in keeping the skin burn-free. Long-sleeved tops and long-legged bottoms keep the burn away, but may be uncomfortable. T-shirts with sleeves are excellent for keeping the sun off little shoulders, which are sensitive and burn easily.
7. Fortunately, swimming costume fashions have undergone a revolution in the past couple of years. Today, the focus of costumes for children is centred on sun protection and comfortable fit. Swimming costumes are available as an all-in-one suit or two piece suits, which provides cover from half way down the arms to just above the knee. The materials have been carefully chosen to dry quickly and stretch to accommodate body movements so as not to restrict play. They are available in a variety of colours and superhero themes.
8. There are cool swimming shirts available for the older children who are not interested in the swimming costumes, which still provide good protection from the sun.
9. The best method of preventing sunburn is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially between 11 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

“It can be almost impossible to drag the children out of the pool or sea during the heat of the day..” “Consider placing a jungle gym in a shady area in your garden, where the kids can play in the shade during the hottest part of the day. It will keep them occupied for hours, safe from the harmful rays of the midday sun.”

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