This summer we're making up for lost time. So, dust off the barbeque, inflate the paddling pool, and get ready to soak up the sunshine with your family....
We’ve created this helpful guide that includes summer health and safety tips. So whether you’re holidaying abroad, going on family days out or simply enjoying the summer holidays with your little ones, you can all stay happy and healthy.
The importance of sun safety
Even though it’s fantastic when the sunshine makes an appearance, the NHS warns it has its dangers if you’re out for too long or don’t take precautions. However, this doesn’t mean you or your family should avoid the sun completely.
Some exposure to sunlight does have health benefits, but only in very short bursts and not without applying sunscreen first. It’s also important to stay hydrated when the weather is warmer whether you’re outside or not.
Regularly drinking water will help you stay cool, as well as stopping you getting dehydrated.
What precautions should you take?
The NHS have plenty of sun safety tips to keep your children safe this summer, as they’re more at risk than adults.
- Make sure children wear a sun hat. Wearing a large, floppy sun hat – that covers your child’s neck and face – can keep the sun’s rays off them and helps protect against sunburn.
- Dress them in loose-fitting clothing. A loose-fitting dress or long-sleeved shirt can cover them up while keeping them cool.
- Invest in UV protection sunglasses. Eye protection is as important as sunscreen so make sure sunglasses have the CE mark of approval.
- Apply enough sunscreen. It’s recommended that you apply at least two teaspoons of sunscreen for your head, arms and neck, and two tablespoons if you’re covering your entire body.
Ways to encourage children to drink more water
Most adults don’t drink enough water let alone children who just want to play in the sun, but there are a few tricks to get them to stay hydrated.
- Buy them their own water bottles. Let them pick a fun design and they should be keener to take it around with them.
- Build it into your routine. You can make drinking water more of a regular thing by building it into your summer routine. You could even introduce a chart to track their intake and reward them for drinking enough during the day.
- Make your own ice lollies. Get lolly moulds and fill with low-sugar fruit juice or squash. Then simply put them in the freezer and wait. You can get the kids to join in, too!
- Mix it up! Fruit like watermelons and oranges are packed with water so having these around will help keep them hydrated.
Keep an eye on the weather for extremely hot days and take the right precautions to make the most of it.
Tips to stay safe in the sun
1. Stay in the shade when you can
The sun is at its strongest during the afternoon, so try and stay in the shade as much as possible during these hours.
That doesn’t mean stay indoors all day, just make sure everyone is coming back inside or into the shade to take a break from the heat.
When you're in the sun, make sure you wear a hat, stay hydrated and top up your sun cream.
2. Create a summer pack for away days
Having warm weather essentials to hand can make summer days out much easier. Pack a small bag with things you know you’ll need:
- Refillable water bottles
- Refreshing snacks, like fruit
- A hat
3. Be prepared
Keep an eye on the weather for extremely hot days and take the right precautions to make the most of it. The Met Office issues warnings if a heatwave is likely so you should have time to prepare.
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