Why is this important?
Outdoor activity, including time spent in the sunshine, is important for children’s physical fitness and lifelong health. Although sun exposure plays a vital role in ensuring adequate vitamin D production, protecting children from overexposure to the sun is essential for avoiding damage to the skin and future skin cancer risk.
What actions can we take?
- Check the UV index daily and schedule children’s activities accordingly.
- When the UV index is 3 or higher, it’s important to protect skin as much as possible.
- Cover up or stay out of the sun, especially during peak hours. This is preferable to relying on sunscreen alone for protection.
- Seek shade (or stay indoors, if necessary), ensure children have adequate hydration and protective clothing, and watch for signs of heat-related illness.
- Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on children at least 30 minutes before going outdoors and before insect repellent, if both are being used.
- Encourage parents/caregivers to provide children with a wide-brimmed sun hat and light, loose clothing made from a breathable fabric.