Sun Safety

Sun Safety

Did you know...

  • Children are at a greater risk from the harmful effects of the sun because they spend more time outdoors than any other age group.
  • One or two severe sunburns during childhood can double the risk of getting skin cancer later in life.

(Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2012)

Have safe fun in the sun

Good sun protection habits last a lifetime

We all know about the harmful effects of the sun…but what is a parent to do with active children who want to play all day outdoors? Make sun protection a healthy habit; it is the best defense against the sun’s harmful rays. It is impossible to avoid the sun completely – no matter how hard we try. However, there are a number of ways that work together to keep those nasty rays at bay:

  • Learn about the UV Index (external link). The UV (Ultra Violet) Index gives information about the strength of the sun’s rays and how to protect your family.
  • Cover up. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing with UV protection; denser and darker-coloured fabrics that block more sun; and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Apply and reapply broad spectrum sunscreens (external link) with SPF 30 or higher to exposed skin…don’t forget your ears, and nose!
  • Keep infants under 12 months out of direct sunlight. Sunscreens should not be used on babies less than 6 months old. Babies and young children (external link) have thinner, more sensitive skin than adults.
  • Use SPF 30 lip balm.
  • Put on a pair of cool shades! Wearing sunglasses (external link) that protect against both UVA and UVB rays (external link) will provide your eyes with the best protection. Sunglasses are important for the whole family!
  • Seek or make shade. The sun’s rays are strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. But no worries, you can still have fun in the sun by:
    • finding the shady side of the pool for an afternoon dip
    • enjoying a picnic under a tree.
    • making your own shade - bring an umbrella!
  • Avoiding ‘reflected’ rays. Did you know that UV rays can bounce off of sand, water and pavement?
  • Last, but not least…be a good role model! It will make a difference to the long-term health of your family.

Where can I get more information?