Jun 21, 2023

Keeping Toddlers Safe in the Sun

Two young girls holding nets used in a water play activity  

In this blog post, we will share how we prioritise sun safety at our nurseries, providing a safe and enjoyable environment for children to explore and learn outdoors. We also will provide some of our top tips to help you and your child at home this summer.

Ensuring sun safety at nursery:

Sunscreen protection: Sunscreen is a vital tool in our sun safety toolkit. We ensure sunscreen is applied to all children before they engage in outdoor activities and encourage application prior to them attending a day at our nursery. Regular re-application is done throughout the day, especially after water play or excessive sweating. Families are also encouraged to bring in their own suncream, should their child have sensitive skin.

Protective clothing: We encourage parents to dress their children in sun-protective clothing, such as lightweight long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and wide-brimmed hats. We also keep spare sun hats for children who may need them.

Hydration is key: All our team members make sure children are drinking plenty of water regularly, to ensure they stay well hydrated throughout the day.

Sun-smart activities: We carefully plan outdoor activities to minimise sun exposure during peak hours. Our teams schedule outdoor play sessions in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s intensity is lower.

Ensuring sun safety at home:

Applying sunscreen regularly: Toddlers and young children have very sensitive skin that is more susceptible to sunburn and long-term damage from UV radiation. It’s therefore crucial to protect their skin from harmful UV rays by providing appropriate sun protection.

Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 or above and 5 star UVA rating to your child’s exposed skin, including face, ears, neck, arms, and legs. Choose a sunscreen specifically designed for children, as it will be gentle on their skin. Remember to re-apply every two hours or more frequently if they have been swimming or sweating.

Seek Shade: During peak sun hours which is typically between 10 am and 4 pm, seek shaded areas to minimise direct sun exposure. Set up a portable shade or use an umbrella, especially when your child is playing outdoors. Shade not only protects their skin but also helps prevent overheating and dehydration.

Dress Appropriately: Dress your child in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection are also essential to shield their face, eyes, and neck from the sun’s rays.

Hydration is Key: Keep your child well-hydrated during outdoor activities, by offering them water frequently.

Be Mindful of Hot Surfaces: Remember that surfaces, such as sand, pavement, or playground equipment, can become extremely hot under the sun. Test surfaces with your hand before allowing your child to touch or sit on them to avoid burns or discomfort.

Educate and Role Model: Teach your child about sun safety from an early age. Explain the importance of wearing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and to seek shade when the sun is strong. By role modelling these behaviours yourself, you reinforce the importance of sun protection and establish healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Keep Sunscreen and Essentials Handy: Always keep sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses in your bag or car so that you’re prepared for unexpected sunny outings. Having these items readily available ensures you can protect your child’s skin even when spontaneous outdoor adventures arise.

Prioritising sun safety is essential, especially throughout the summer months. By following these tips and incorporating sun-safe practices into your daily routine, you can help safeguard your child’s delicate skin and promote a healthy relationship with the sun.

Remember, a little extra effort in sun protection goes a long way in ensuring your child’s well-being and setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy sun habits.

Related pages/links:

Our Curriculum

Related blogs:

Our Top 5 Tips on Teaching Young Children about Safety

Sustainability and Sustainable Practices Across The Old Station Nursery Group

Forest School Approach

Blog checked by:  Kat Learner (Training & Professional Development Manager)

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