fbpx Pilgrims Pre Prep | Stay safe in the sun | For children aged 3m to 7 yrs

Stay safe in the sun

Posted on 15th of July 2017

We all love a sunny day but what we have to remember is that while the sun can promote good health through the generation of vitamin D, it can also be harmful if we don’t take enough care of ourselves.

The three main things we should be mindful of are: sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration.

Using sun screen to protect from sun burn

Until a few years ago, little was known about skin cancer in the UK.  Unfortunately however, it is becoming a lot more prevalent.  At Pilgrims we’re always careful to help protect our little ones and engender a sense of caution when we’re outside on a hot day.  Melanoma skin cancer is now the 5th most common cancer overall in the UK and skin cancer rates are more than 4 times higher than they were in the late 1970’s in this country.  Some of the increase in melanoma may be because doctors are better at noticing the first signs of melanoma, and detecting it at an early stage. But it also may be to do with a change in how much time we spend in the sun, in particular many more of us taking holidays abroad.

We found this little film by Cancer Research UK to help children understand what sunburn is.

There are so many sunscreens on the market and the one you choose will depend on a) how long you’re going to be out in the sun and b) how fair or dark your skin is.  But don’t forget that even dark skin needs protection from the sun, and also our children’s skin can sometimes be more sensitive to the sun than we realise.

How to protect from sunstroke

Also known as heat exhaustion or heatstroke, this is basically when your body overheats and leads to flushed skin, a racing heart rate, headache, rapid breathing and nausea/vomiting, but a high temperature (104F or 40C or higher) is the main sign of sunstroke.

Luckily children love to play in water when it’s hot so get the garden hose or sprinkler out or fill up the paddling pool for a sunny splash about.

Avoid dehydration

We all know what it’s like to feel thirsty when it’s hot but perhaps we’re not aware of how dangerous dehydration can be.  Symptoms of dehydration apart from the obvious one of thirst, also include: feeling dizzy, lightheaded or tired, dark yellow or strong-smelling pee and peeing less than 4 times a day.  You can often get dehydrated because you’re suffering other illnesses such as running a fever or being sick.  Encouraging children to drink little and often when they’re playing in the sun can really help to avoid dehydration and don’t hesitate if you think they need medical attention.  You can find more information here.

We all know that children love to play outside so, although this blog may sound a little alarming, we felt it important to share some tips with you on how to keep you and your children safe over the summer weeks.  Remember these five handy tips:

  • Apply sun screen regularly
  • Wear a hat
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Find shade during the hottest time of day (from about 11am until about 3pm)
  • Above all have fun!