Playing Outdoors: Keeping Kids Safe in the Sun!

While one solution to protect children from harmful UV rays may be to keep children indoors away from the sun, in the long run it is more harmful for children. All of us, especially children, need some exposure to the sun to stimulate production of vitamin D for healthy bones, hair and hearts. In addition, indoor play is linked to activities that are less physical, like video games, and the sharp rise in childhood obesity is another reason for our children to get outside and run around on the grass. As long as you know what protective measures to use for your children, they can safely enjoy the health benefits of outdoor activity in the sun.

The sun is at its strongest around the noon hour, from approximately 10am - 2pm, and ultraviolet (UV) rays are the most damaging at this time. This is because the rays have to travel a shorter distance through the atmosphere to get to the Earth. Avoiding outdoor play in this range of time is a good preventative measure. Outside of this time range, going out into the sun can be made safe with protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and sun protective swimwear. Specialized swimwear has been developed specifically to minimize the amount of UV rays through a few different mechanisms. The most reputable companies use a nylon-lycra blend that carries a 50+ ultraviolet sun protection factor (UPF). This means that the fabric keeps out 98-99% of harmful UV radiation.

You may choose to put your child in long sleeved shirts and jeans rather than invest in sun protective clothing, however, you will not be receiving the same level of protection, and you can increase their risk of heatstroke or dehydration. This type of clothing is specially manufactured to be lightweight, yet with closer-knit fabric to provide sun protection and allow air to pass through the cloth. Regular summer clothing usually has a UPF of only 5, whereas sun protection clothing has UPFs of 30+. They are a sound investment to minimize your child's risk of UV skin damage.

Teaching sun protection measures early in your children's life is an important step in helping them ward off the risk of skin cancer later in life. Everything, including sunlight, should be taken in moderation, and the best way to get just the right amount of sunlight is to wear sun protective clothing. Skin cancer is a very real danger, so it is important to take it seriously.

Oz Swimwear sells Sun Emporium, a leading Australian brand of quality swimwear - designed to offer excellent UV sun protection to delicate young skin.

Article Source:

Erin & Lynda

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