Summer in Queensland is approaching and while it’s great fun to frolic in the sun on any of the Gold Coast’s magnificent beaches, this is also the season when you should be most cautious about sun exposure. The levels of UVR in Queensland throughout the year are enough to damage your kids’ skin and more so in the summer when the temperature can climb up to 43 ̊ Celsius — the highest temperature recorded in QLD.
Prolonged sun exposure without any protection could not only result in sunburn, but also in skin aging and skin cancer. You must therefore put extra effort in protecting your children from the sun.
Here’s how to keep your kids safe under in the sun this summer:
Always apply sunscreen
One of the proven and simplest ways to protect your children’s skin from the harmful UV Rays is applying sunscreen. Whatever their skin tone may be, always use sunscreen on their skin, especially the parts not covered with clothes.
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for best protection and ensure that the product has a broad spectrum. This will protect the kids from both UVA and UVB rays. And if you are going to the beach or water parks, make sure that the sunscreen you’re using is water-resistant.
Slather on a generous amount and re-apply every two hours. This will significantly lessen the impact of UV Rays on your children’s skin. Don’t miss parts of your kids’ heads, including their faces, ears, necks, and napes.
Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts
Sunscreens are very helpful in protecting the skin from the sun, but they can’t ward off the strong UV Rays completely. This is where the importance of the right clothing comes in.
It might feel counter intuitive given the scorching heat, but for extra protection against the sun, have your child wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when going out, especially at noon. Proper clothing paired with sunscreen will give your kids maximum protection. Rashies and longer board shorts should do when going for a swim.
Have a hat ready
The head is one of the most sun-exposed body parts, that’s why an extra layer of protection is necessary. So, keep several hats handy, one for each of your kids. Make it a habit for them to wear hats every time they go out in the sun.
But don’t just give your kids any kind of hat. Make sure to buy those that have at least 3 inches of brim around them to provide enough protection from the sun.
UV Rays can damage the eyes just as much as it can damage the skin. Hats can protect your kids’ eyes, but to best shield them from the sun you should make sure that they wear sunglasses too. Choose the ones that wrap around the eyes to ensure maximum protection.
Bring a beach umbrella
The beach is perhaps the most popular destination for families during summer, and the Gold Coast’s beaches are especially hard to beat. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least shaded places there is. If you are planning to spend an entire day at the beach, then make sure to bring your own beach umbrella so the kids can avoid direct contact from sunlight.
Just remember that no matter how big your umbrella may be, it isn’t enough to protect your kids from the sun. So, they make sure that they still wear proper beach clothes and a generous amount of sunscreen.
Stay indoors during midday
The strongest and most harmful sun rays occur around midday. If you want to keep your kids safe in the sun, then better keep them indoors during this time of the day. This is applicable even if you’re not planning for any outdoor adventure. Your kids can still get sun damage while playing in the yard.
So, remember to keep your kids within shaded areas when the sun is shining very brightly in the sky.
Teach the kids well
Perhaps the best way to keep your kids safe in the sun is to teach them to protect themselves. You can’t always be with them, so teaching your children the importance of sun protection and the different ways to do so is very important. Teach them about sun damage and how to avoid it, so you’ll feel confident that your kids are protected wherever they go.
What to do after prolonged sun exposure
But what should you do if one of the kids forget to wear sunscreen? Or stays too long in the water under the sun? Take the steps below after prolonged sun exposure:
- Get the kids inside right away and have them take a cool bath.
- Encourage the children to drink plenty of fluids.
- Treat their sunburn by applying wet compresses to the skin. Pressing a wet or cool cloth against the sunburn will also help alleviate the pain.
- Buy a pure aloe vera gel from the chemist and apply to sunburned skin.
- You can also apply over-the-counter diphenhydramine products like Benadryl to relieve itching and any hydrocortisone cream to ease the pain.
- Keep the kids indoors and out of the sun to make the sunburned skin heal faster.
Should the sunburn worsens and blisters grow on their skin, take your kids immediately to a physician or call for home medical assistance.
Sun Protection Supplies at Greg Keily Chemist
Summer is a great time on the Gold Coast and now that you know the best ways to keep your kids safe in the sun, this coming season will even be more enjoyable for the whole family.
Start buying sunscreens and other sun protection supplies now to get you ready for the summer. It’s best to collect burn ointments and itch creams, too. You can get all these and more at Greg Keily Chemist in Soutport.
You might also be interested in our article about treating sunburn.