Teaching Kids to be Sun Smart (and why it's important)

It’s summertime and everyone is of course anxious to get outdoors and play soccer! Of course outdoor activities are essential for growing up strong and happy, but there’s something else outside that’s there to throw a wrench into the whole process – the sun. It brings us these warm days and beautiful skies, but it also brings with it risks for our skin. Queensland is the melanoma capital of the world and while we aren’t here to alarm you, it is important that kids learn to be sun smart from a young age so that they can have a long and happy relationship with the outdoors without fear of the dangerous effects of those warm rays.
Why it’s important
Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia, for both men and for women (this number doesn’t even include other kinds of skin cancer). It’s more common here than in most places, with rates two to three times higher than those in Canada, the UK, or the United States. It’s also the most common kind of cancer in Australians who are between the ages of 15 and 44, which means that prevention is important even for young children in order to keep them from developing it. What’s great about this information is that you can do something about it! Today! 90-95% of skin cancers are caused by excess exposure to the sun. Teaching kids to be sun smart is one of the easiest things you can do as a parent, and it’s also something that you’ll feel great about doing because it prevents serious trouble later.
How to be sun smart
Here are some tips:
Model it
The first and most important step is to model sun safety. This is important because your kids are watching you every moment (whether you realise it or not!), and because your health is important for them. So as you read on, remember to do these things for you too.
Block it Out
There are two ways to block out the sun: sunscreen and clothing. Both are important.
Sunscreen should be SPF of 30+ and be applied twenty minutes BEFORE heading outside and then reapplied every two hours. It does wear off so be sure to reapply! Spray lotions are available that are great for kids (with supervision) because they’re easy to apply.
While it’s tempting to strip down on hot days, your child will actually do better to wear a little more clothing and take breaks from the heat instead of trying to stay outside in the sun for longer. More exposed skin means more risk. Hats are a big part of this equation because they keep sun off the face, though still remember to slather on the sunblock. And don’t forget the sunglasses, which offer eye protection as well as looking cool.
Keep it Handy
Keep extra sunblock on hand just like you would keep extra water on hand. Never be without it! Stockpile when you find a great deal, but remember to throw it out when it hits that expiration date as it’s no longer offering that protection. But do keep an extra bottle in the car, in the nappy bag, in your purse, by the door, and in the bathroom. It’s important to never not do it because of lack of access!
Don’t burn it
Never use a tanning bed or go without sunscreen in order to get a tan. Again, your kids are watching you. Even without getting burned the sun causes serious damage. Even one sunburn in the summer is connected to higher risk of melanoma.
Practise it daily
Even when days are cloudy, the sun is still very damaging. Practise sun-smart methods every day, whether you’re going to be outside for one hour or six hours. Even that little jump to the park or walk around the block requires good sun safety! The statistics can be a bit frightening, but don’t let them scare you. If you practise good, simple sun safety then your child will be able to enjoy being outside and you’ll never have to worry!

Ginger Sport Fun Soccer

Your little one will love playing soccer at childcare, and working parents love it!

We will make this a fun sport for them and an activity that they look forward to coming to each and every week!

Ginger Sport Activities

All the fun, just for one. Just your soccer star and our coach at your place.

Make memories with a party your little one & their friends will love.

Have you ever wanted a Ginger Sport session held at a time and place Just To Suit Your Group?