How to Protect Your Children from the Harsh Australian Sun

Keeping Babes Safe

Australia is a fantastic place to live, but with it comes the harsh rays of the Australian sun. We want to shield our children as much as possible so as new parents we’re spoilt with choice when it comes to sourcing and purchasing the very best products. Babies and sun? They don’t usually mix well, but they can with the right choices by you.

Here is a guide as to what you should do to keep your little ones safe in the sun.

Shade

Ensure that your tiny tots are in the shade as much as possible. Of course, this can be difficult when picnicking or playing in the playground or having fun at the beach. Our advice is to gravitate towards the shade as much as possible. Getting some shade might involve the purchasing of a small beach tent or some umbrellas that will help keep the harsh rays at bay. But remember, it’s a myth that you can’t get sunburnt in the shade. Even though you’re safe from the sun, it’s the UV radiation that reflects off things like glass, sand and water that can cause sunburn in the shade. It’s best to wear sunscreen and keep covered at all times.

kids at beach under umbrella

Cover up!

Slip-on a sun shirt or kids sun protection suit but make sure you first check the UV protection rating of the material. There are a LOT of children’s sun protection swimwear brands out there but make sure you’re buying the best of the best to keep your little ones safe. Lots of swimwear options exist that will ensure your child can splash happily while staying protected.

No hat, no play!

Invest wisely when it comes to purchasing sun protection hats for kids. The best kinds are those with a broad rim that covers the face and the neck—bonus points for drawstrings that keep them firmly attached to the baby’s head. Toddlers and babies tend to grab, throw and get away so something thick and suitable, yet breezy, should be your go-to.

kids wearing hats at the beach

Keep it cool with sunglasses!

Is there anything more adorable than a baby in shades? Wearing sunglasses from a young age will help your child grow used to the idea of connecting them with outdoor play. Sunglasses will help to shield tiny eyes from harsh UV rays and allow them to play more freely when it’s blindingly sunny outside.

Sunscreen – Best Sunscreen for Kids

A sunscreen that’s in the 50+ range is always the best option, but it’s a good idea to consult with your pharmacist or doctor to select the best brand of sunscreen for kids. Sporting ranges can be good but ensure the UV protection is accurate. It’s not recommended to slather adult sunscreen onto children– choose wisely and in a child-friendly way.

Choice.com.au asked experts about their opinions on the use of sunscreen for babies. The Australian College of Dermatologists does not recommend the use of sunscreen on babies under six months. Yet, Dr David Orchard from the dermatology department at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital says there is no evidence to suggest that sunscreen is unsafe.  It’s recommended that very young babies are kept out of the sun where possible as a priority. When they’re older, you can apply the correct sunscreen to protect their little skin while not stopping their play.

kids playing in the beach

It would be best if you used the sunscreen every couple of hours, particularly before and then after swimming, to ensure they are protected all day round. Remember – even if it’s cloudy or overcast, the powerful UV rays are still there. Many of us assume incorrectly that a cloudy day reduces the chance of sunburn, so don’t take any chances. You can also get sunburnt in the shade, so make sure that protection is there at all times.

Don’t be scared of the sun but don’t be lax at the same time

As parents, it’s our sacred duty to ensure our children are safe. Australia is a great place to play outdoors – there’s just so much to do! Playgrounds, parks, swimming pools – our options for outdoor fun are endless. But it’s our responsibility to ensure we put appropriate measures in place to prevent our children from getting sunburned.

Have fun in the sun but remember – protect, be proactive and be prepared!

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