Keeping children safe is a top priority for parents year-round, but the hot summer sun adds a myriad of additional safety concerns to consider. To beat the heat, parents can create fun indoor activities for their children to avoid heat exhaustion and limit UV exposure. Parents should pull down their window coverings to both help keep the sun out and to keep kids cool.
Safety should also be top of mind when play moves outdoors. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has declared July 2013 UV Safety Month, to educate Americans about the dangers of too much sun exposure. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and young children’s skin is particularly sensitive to the sun. When enjoying outdoor activities this summer, the Skin Cancer Foundation offers this advice to parents to help keep their children burn free:
- Infants under six months of age should be kept out of the sun. Their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen.
- Babies 6 – 12 months of age should dress in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going outside, and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Toddlers should be in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as much as possible. Parents should check the outdoor area where their child plays to make sure there is adequate shade. Also, provide them with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect their face, neck and ears.