Sun safety awareness is the new hot topic in schools. Despite the recent grey days I’m sure most of you will have had a letter/email discussing sun protection for your little one.
But what are the guidelines and do we really need to worry that much?
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK with young children being particularly vulnerable as they play outside during the hottest times of the day. The National Union Of Teachers (the NUT) advice to teachers is that their pupils and themselves must be protected during the summer months.
The benefits of outside play are so important so how can we protect our kids even when they aren’t with us.
Here’s 5 easy steps to sun protection.
- Get to know your sunscreen and how to apply it. We actually need to use much more than we think. Apply it early in the morning and let sink in rather than do it just as you are about to leave. This means your little one is protected as soon as they leave the house and less chance of it rubbing off. Teach them how to reapply their own cream for the face with a little video like this and get them involved. For a full guide click here:
- Hats are key but not all hats are created equal. Look for a hat that is tested for UVA and UVB protection. A little trick I like to use to remember what to look for is: Think the A in UVA is for the ageing + the B is for burning. Hats without this testing essentially aren’t fully protective of delicate heads. Little Hotdog Watson hats are protective to factor 50+ You also want to look for a full brim to shade the face, neck + ears and not just the top of the head.
- Clothing - now most schools will have a uniform and so it’s tricky to get around this BUT if you have an option opt for long sleeved clothing. You are ideally looking for natural fabrics like cotton that are breathable and densely woven ie. if you hold them up to the light you can’t see through them. A densely woven fabric will offer the best protection from the sun’s powerful rays. Also look for light colours, white (although not kid friendly) is the best as it also reflects light and helps keep little ones cool.
- Consider little eyes. Children’s eyes are more vulnerable to sunlight than we ever thought. A recent Australian study showed that our eyes can actually get sunburnt. Damage to eyes in our youth can have a big knock on effect in later life and has been linked to glaucoma and several other eye conditions. The best way to protect little eyes is to shield them. A hat with a broad brim offers great protection and ideally if your little one will keep them on sunglasses.
- When looking for sunglasses there are lots of things to consider. We have a full guide here: but the most important thing to be aware of is the UV protection. Many cheap sunglasses will simply add UV protection as a coating on the lens. This is a cheap way to achieve a testing standard and get a promotional claim, however as soon as those glasses are worn the coating will start to wear off and erode. It is far better to look for a UV protection that is inherent (part of the lens) rather than a coating. This way you are always guaranteed proper protection and less worry.
And as always don’t forget to stamp your items so they don’t get lost!!
Emma Watson is the owner of LITTLE HOTDOG WATSON a kidswear brand that specialise in putting style + innovation together. They focus on making hats + sunglasses to enable kids to get away from the screen and into the fresh air. Their sun hats offer triple protection from UVA+UVB, Mosquitoes and overheating. You can learn more here.