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Kiddi Sun Safety: Keeping Young Children Safe Throughout Summer

Kiddi Caru - 9th July 2019

Summer is the perfect season to get children outside and exploring.

It gives them the chance to get away from the screens and reconnect with nature, while also soaking up some of that vital vitamin D. Being a part of amazing experiences that helps development and wellbeing, but while you’re out and about in the sun, it is important to keep them safe.

According to SKCIN.org, “A massive 80-90% of all skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable with sun safe measures.”

Here are some of our top tips, that we carry out at Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, to keep in mind this season:

 

Water, water everywhere!

It is important to make sure your child keeps hydrated and drinks fresh water regularly during the Summer and warm weather, especially when they are doing sports or energetic activities. Children should be encouraged to take breaks every 15-20 minutes from outdoor activities to have a drink in a shaded area, avoiding outdoors activities during peak times of the day.

If you little one is playing outside for long periods of time, make sure they are in a shaded area such as under a parasol or tree canopy with water to hand. It is best to provide fresh water to your little one, rather than fruit juices or sugary drinks as they can attract insects such as wasps and ants.

When Summer finally rolls around, we love to splash around in water to keep cool and have fun – whether this is in the sea, swimming pool or even a paddling pool in the garden. it is important to make sure your child is never left unsupervised or unattended in or near the water, even if they are a capable swimmer.

Have an open conversation with your child to discuss water safety, explaining how importance it is that they never go into the water without you. If you visit a pool or the beach, introduce them to the lifeguard and explain their role.

Have you considered becoming First Aid trained? In the worst case, that a child is injured or involved in an accident whether in water or otherwise, this knowledge can prevent serious harm and even save a child’s life.

Protecting Children’s Skin

Your little one’s skin is 15 times more sensitive than yours, knowing this combined with the fact that even one instance of sunburn in childhood can double the risk of skin cancer later in life, highlights how vital it is to protect a child’s skin from the sun.

It is recommended that a minimum of SP30 sun cream be used and topped up at regular intervals, the bottle will usually specify how frequently. Choose a sun cream that is hypoallergenic and waterproof, minimising the chances of skin irritation and maximise effectiveness when playing near water. If a child is very young you may not be aware of any allergies, choose a cream that is nut free to lessen the possibility of an adverse reaction.

If your child is in child care, such as a nursery or preschool, make sure you ask the establishment about their policy on sun cream.

At Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group we hold the SKCIN, ‘Sun Safe School’ accreditation to keep all the little ones in our care safe. We also provide sun cream free of charge and educate the children on how to dress in the sun, keep hydrated and explain why they should wear sun cream, arming them with knowledge and ensuring their future sun safety.

Through our promotion of ‘learning through play’, Kiddi Caru introduce the SKCIN Sun Safety Steps through song:
1. SLIP on a sun t-shirt
2. SLOP on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA sunscreen
3. SLAP on a broad brimmed hat
4. SLIDE on quality sunglasses
5. SHADE from the sun whenever possible

Marie Tudor, CEO for Skcin, said, "Skcin are delighted to see the that Kiddi Caru Nurseries Group have been actively taking part in our Sun Safe Nurseries accreditation. Their support to the scheme and getting all their nurseries on board is clear sign of their commitment to their duty for care for children at the settings, but also for their responsible attitude to teach children about sun safety and adopting sun safe behaviours. Given that one blistering sunburn in childhood doubles a person chance of skin cancer later in later and that rates of skin cancer have risen by 45% in the past decade we need to take action to combat these rising statistics. Planting the seeds of sun safety is vital for next generation and to help mitigate the huge burden of cost of treating the disease. Our Sun Safe nursery programme provides everything a school or nursery needs to implement sun safety in to their settings in addition to the appropriate teachings for children. We are proud to be working with Kiddi Caru and having them help support our mission to educate. I wish to thank them for their support."

Make sure to ask your childcare provider if they hold this accreditation, how often they reapply sun cream during the summer and how long the children are allowed outside during peak times in the summer months.

Summer Wardrobe

When the sun pops out we all normally think of sun cream but, actually, it should be used as second line of defence when protecting your little one against the suns harmful rays. The first defence is to cover their skin with protective summer clothing, that is breathable but ensures their skin is kept safe from harmful UV rays.

The necessities for your child’s Summer wardrobe should always include a wide brimmed hat, such as a cap or (preferably) a legionnaire style hat that covers the back of the neck, as well as UV protection sunglasses.

When taking a trip to splash around outside at the beach or outdoor pool, make sure to kit your child out with an all-in-one swimsuit instead of a child’s bikini or trunks. These all-in-ones cover the torso and half of the child’s legs and arms to make sure the most sensitive areas are covered at all times. These suits usually have additional UV protection built in and are made of a breathable fabric to keep your little ones safe, happy and comfortable both in and out of the water.

Children love to mimic their idols – their parents and carers! So, it is natural that they would like to wear similar swim wear to you rather than protective outfits. However, to encourage their interest and desire to wear protective clothing, why not take them on a shopping trip to buy these protective items? Many are designed with popular children’s characters or themes, to make them appealing to young children and encourage their sense of pride when wearing them.

If your little one is in a push chair, whether inside or outside during the warm weather, please never cover the opening of the buggy with a blanket (no matter how thin the fabric). Although you may think the blanket shades your child from the sun, it actually blocks the air flow, causing the temperature under the cover to rise very quickly to a dangerous level. Instead, attach a parasol to your buggy to shade your child from the sun while keeping them safe and cool, these can be adjusted to move with the sun.

Summer is an amazing season to created memories, soak up the vitamin D and get that all-important fresh air whilst connecting with friends, family and the natural environment. However, a safe summer is a better summer for everyone, in the short term and long term.

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