While the gorgeous summer sunshine provides our children with the vitamin D they need for strong bones, teeth and muscles which long term is essential for good health, it is also important that they are protected from a young age from the potential risks that the sun can also cause such as skin cancer in later years, sun stroke, skin damage and much more. 
 
Here are our top tips to ensure that not only do you keep your little ones protected in the sun, but they can reap all the fantastic benefits of being outdoors, in the sunshine all at the same time! 
First, a quick fact, did you know your youngest child is more likely to burn than your eldest child? This is because an infant’s skin is much thinner and has underdeveloped levels of melanin in their skin. 
 
CREATE LONG TERM HABITS AND ROUTINES 
The best way to protect your children long term from the sun – even when you are not around to remind them - is very simple. Start them young. Whenever you are on holiday, or the weather is hot, stick to a similar routine every time, make a checklist with them and ask them what they need before they head out into the sun. This will get them into the routine of protecting their skin from a young age. 
 
COVER UP 
Now we know sometimes getting your child to wear appropriate clothing especially when it’s hot can prove to be difficult. However getting them involved in the decision making process will make them more willing to compromise and stay covered up. For example, lay out a small range of different hats that will cover their head and face well in the sun, but make them choose which hat they want to wear. 
 
AVOID THE STRONGEST RAYS OF THE DAY 
Although this cannot always be possible when you have a busy day planned, it is still vital that you make sure that your child gets to spends substantial time in the shade. If this proves difficult, make shade time a fun place to be, whether that be having their favourite drink, playing their favourite game or sitting down to eat. Make the shade the place to be! 
 
SUNSCREEN: THE HIGHER THE BETTER 
It is always better to invest in a good quality SPF sunscreen for not only your child, but for yourself. We always recommend purchasing a cream or spray that has a SPF of 50 which is also waterproof, so your child can spend more time playing and enjoying the sunshine instead of having to come back more than they need to in order to get a refill! When it comes to sun cream protection, led by example. Instead of buying a SPF sun cream less than 50, buy the same and educate your child on the importance of protecting their skin and health when in the sun. 
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