Although many of us long for the sunshine and warmer weather, it is important to remember the effect the damaging ultraviolet sun rays can cause, particularly to babies and children. The risk of skin cancer (melanoma), heatstroke and sunburn, are just some of the dangers that can be caused by the hot sun, and are some of the reasons it is to ensure we are protecting children as much as possible whilst they play in the sun.  So how can you keep your baby of children safe during those hot summer months? 

Avoid the midday sun.  Try to avoid taking your children out when the sun is at its peak, which is generally between 11am and 3pm and completely avoid exposing babies under 6 months to direct sunlight where possible. Should you need to venture out during peak hours, it’s advised that children should wear light-weight loose fitting clothing complete with sun hats that cover their ears and back of their necks. 

Attach a buggy sun shade.  When taking children out and about in a pushchair, pram or back carrier it’s important to shade and protect them with a suitable parasol or sun shade.  There are many multifunctional sun-shade, that clip easily to most buggies, pushchairs, playpens and car windows.  

Attach a sunshade to car windows.  If you are travelling by car ensure the car is cool before putting the children in and setting off.  Invest in car sun shades that protect both front and rear facing children from sun and glare.  Car sun shades attach in seconds and fit most cars, mini vans and SUVs. 

Apply sun screen. Apply sun screen to young skin, 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors and every 2 hours there-after ensuring good coverage of the back of the neck and shoulders. If your child ventures into water, it is recommended that you apply a water-resistant sun screen and re-apply sun lotion once they are out of the water.  For children a sun screen with no less than SPF 15 with UVA and UVB protection is advised.  However, a water-resistant SPF 50+ provides the ultimate and best protection for young skin, keeping them safer for longer. 

Stay hydrated.  Most importantly, make sure children stay hydrated, frequently offer them plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.  If it proves challenging getting your infant to drink water, try making homemade fruit juice ice lollies, or offer diluted fruit juice.  If your baby is still breastfeeding, they may require shorter and more frequent feeds. Offer bottle fed babies cooled boiled water in addition to their normal milk feeds. 

There are many products available, designed to protect children from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays: 

The Safetots Kids Sun Shelter – UV Protection Beach And Garden Tent provides the ultimate ultraviolet protection for children at the beach, park or simply in the garden. With a UPF 30, this spacious sun shelter keeps children safe in the sun whilst ensuring space for all the family. The Safetots Kids Sun Shelter is durable and robust when erected yet folds into a small travel storage bag when packed away, designed for ease of packing for family holidays abroad.