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Sun Safety For Children: This week’s Thursday Tip

Sun Safety for Children is this week’s Thursday Tip from Canavan Byrne. Now that the Summer weather is here, we all want children to enjoy the sun safely. Getting sunburnt in childhood or adolescence can increase the risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer in later life.

In order that services are compliant with the Childcare (Preschool) Regulations 2006 children must be protected from the sun. Early Years Services should have a Sun Safety Policy available for parents to read.

Services should ask parents for signed permission for staff to apply sun cream onto their child when appropriate and parents should bring in sun cream (at least factor 30) in a named bottle. Services should encourage all children to wear clothes that provide good sun protection e.g. sun hats, sunglasses.

Parents should provide a hat and children should wear a top that covers their shoulders and upper arms. Sunglasses are also recommended. On very hot days children will should have reduced exposure to sunlight. Children can seek shade when outside in the sun. For more information on sun safety go to www.cancer.ie, www.who.int or www.hse.ie.

Preparing Children for the Sun

  • Find a hat with a wide brim that gives shade to face, neck and ears. A tie under the chin may stop them from taking it off.
  • It is important that children, as soon as they can, wear wrap around sunglasses that give UV protection.
  • Only use sunscreen on those areas of the skin that cannot be protected by clothes or a hat.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF30 or higher with UVA protection.
  • Choose a sunscreen that the child likes using.
  • Put plenty of it on dry skin 20 mins before they go outside and reapply every two hours.
  • Get to know the UV index. It will help you decide the type of sun protection to use.