sun safety childrens house nursery brimmed hat

Sun Safety for babies, toddlers & children

We all love the sunshine – just the thought of it makes you smile … cool drinks, barbeques and beaches … what’s not to love?!!  With the wonderful weather we have been having recently and school holidays upon us the importance of sun safety becomes paramount to keeping everyone safe whilst enjoying the warmer weather.

With the wonderful weather we have been having recently and school holidays upon us the importance of sun safety becomes paramount to keeping everyone safe whilst enjoying the warmer weather. Click To Tweet

Sun Safety – Our Nursery Policy

Here at Children’s House Nursery we implement a Sun Safe Nursery policy and teachings from the Sun Safe Nurseries (Award Scheme). This has been developed by national skin cancer charity ‘Skcin’, to encourage the necessary culture change regarding attitudes towards sun safety required to combat the soaring rates of skin cancer in the UK.

Whilst we recognise that some sun is good for us, we are mindful of the importance of protecting the children in our care from the dangers of over exposure to UV.

Shockingly skin cancer is now the most common and fastest rising cancer in the UK. Malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease is now the most common cancer in young adults aged 15-34.

Burning as a young child can cause irreparable damage to a child’s delicate skin, that over time can develop with serious consequences.

However, the good news is that skin cancer is almost entirely preventable and simple steps can be undertaken to ensure that your child’s skin is protected from the suns harmful rays.

Hot weather can affect your baby or child because their bodies cannot adjust to changes in temperature as well as adults. Babies and children sweat less, reducing their body’s ability to cool down, and they generate more heat during exercise than adults. They are at risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. Heat can also make existing illnesses worse.

Here at Children’s House Nursery we teach children in our care basic sun safe messages through engaging teaching resources including singing a sun safe song:

 

Keep babies six months and younger out of the sun 

  • We recommend that infants avoid sun exposure and are dressed in lightweight clothing with a brimmed hat.
  • Factor 50 is recommended for such delicate skin
  • Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby more often in hot weather
  • If you are breastfeeding your baby, make sure you drink plenty of water.

DO NOT cover pushchairs and prams with clothing/sheets etc.

 Sun Safety Blog covered pushchair Parents often use a lightweight sheet/clothing to hang over the front of the pram to shield from the sun.  This can cause a baby to overheat in the trapped air and can be very dangerous to a young child.

Health authorities advise parents:

An enclosed pram can get very hot; try to ensure that the air circulates around your baby by removing the back panel (if possible) or placing them in more open strollers.

Children 6 months and older 

  • Sun hats should be either broad-brimmed or legionnaire style (to shade the face, neck and ears that can easily burn)
  • Sunscreen should offer broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with a minimum 4 star rating and Sun Protection Factor 30+.
  • Apply sunscreen regularly

Stay hydrated

  • Staying hydrated is important whether it’s sunny or not. Our bodies require water to function properly. While out in the sun it is easy to dehydrate so ensure children and babies are drinking regularly
  • Avoid sun during peak intensity times
  • Usually between 11am and 3pm the suns intensity and ultraviolet radiation is at its peak and can cause serious burns. Shady areas and quieter activities are good at these times

Keeping cool – the environment

  • For sleeping, choose the coolest room in the house. Keep the heat out by closing the curtains and make sure fresh air can circulate around the cot (remove cot bumpers etc.).
  • Don’t leave babies asleep in a pram as they can become very hot.
  • Cool your baby with damp cloths and place wet towels or sheets around the cot to cool the air immediately near them.
  • Check regularly to make sure they are not getting too cold.
  • Give your baby or child a lukewarm bath or sponge them down with lukewarm water. Don’t use cold water or ice in the bath.
  • If you use a fan, don’t point it towards your baby or child but use it to keep the air circulating. Make sure your child cannot touch the fan, be cut with the blade or be electrocuted.
  • If you have an air conditioner unit , make sure the room does not get too cold, 24-26 degrees Celsius is low enough.

Cars

  • Never leave babies, children or pets alone in a car, not even for a moment. Babies and children can overheat very quickly in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can be 30-40°C hotter than outside the car. Most of the temperature increase occurs within five minutes of closing the car and having the windows down 5 cm causes only a very slight decrease in temperature.
  • Never cover a baby car seat in the car with a lightweight cloth or towel as this will restrict air moving around the baby, making them hotter. Use sun shades on windows.
  • When planning a longer car journey, try to travel in the cooler hours of the day, dress your child lightly and provide plenty of cool water during the journey. 

Role Models

Role models have a key part to play in influencing children’s behaviour in regard to sun protection practices. It is therefore important that our staff as well as parents and/or guardians are seen to be actively adopting the same sun safe practices.

You can read a Sun Safety Fact Sheet here provided by the National Skin Cancer charity Skcin and click here for more information about skin cancer, its prevention, sun safety and the charity ‘Skcin’.

AND FINALLY … we want everyone to have lots of fun, enjoy the outdoors and the adventures and learning that it brings.

Stay safe, have fun