long ago we considered children who were tanned from
playing in the hot summer sun "healthy" and children who
were pale from too much time indoors "sickly". We are now aware that
those "healthy" children are at risk of developing skin and other cancers later in life
because a child's skin is extremely sensitive to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Not only are children affected by the sunlight but also by the heat
emitted by the sun. On a hot
sunny day, children lose body fluid very quickly and
become dehydrated or develop heat stroke.
To reduce injuries caused by heat and sun remember:
* The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m.
and 3:00 p.m.,
therefore, limit outside play during these times.
Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon.
* Apply sun block lotion to skin 30 minutes before
sun exposure with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15.
* Protection is needed on hot days, cloudy days as
well as sunny days.
* Don't forget to apply sun block lotion on children
who play under
sprinklers or in wading or swimming pools. Wet skin
allows more ultraviolet rays to penetrate than dry skin.
* Although the shade of umbrellas and trees is a
nice escape from the sun's rays, they do not provide reliable protection
against the sun's rays.
* Fair skinned children with light eyes are most
susceptible to the effects of the sun's rays.
* Avoid exposing children less than 6 months to
strong sunlight using a sunshade or parasol on strollers or carriages. (Do
not use sunscreen on infants less than 6 months unless approved by the
* Dress children lightly in hot weather and be aware
of overheating children in strollers or carriages. * Provide children with
extra fluids in hot weather.
* Limit outdoor activities to no more than 30
minutes at a stretch during very hot or humid days * Have children wear
protective clothing such as hats, sun visors, lightweight long-sleeved shirts