There are very few things that bring as much pleasure to a parent than to see their children playing and having fun outdoors. The shrieks, the laughter and the healthy enjoyment of life truly is inspiring!
At the back of our minds we are well aware of the much publicised dangers of exposure to the harmful rays of the sun, but that really doesn’t seem like a problem when we are absorbed in the enjoyment of our children’s games.
There is hardly any time of our lives when we are more exposed to the sun than when we are children. Children are naturally attracted to the outdoors where they can engage in all sorts of games and activities with their friends. But add to this the exposure they receive while doing sports at school, away from your supervision, and danger could lurk.
Most parents will be conscientious in making sure their children have applied sun block before running off to school in the morning, or darting outside to play with their friends. But this sun block does not last the entire day – it often wears out after just an hour and then needs to be re-applied. This is where the danger lurks, as they could be engaged in outdoor sports and activities at school that expose them beyond the life-span of the sun block.
The damage caused by the constant and unprotected exposure to the sun is not visible beyond the typical sunburn and peeling. We are all so used to this that we do not pay much attention to it and merely accept it as part of growing up. However, the exposure to UV A and B rays in childhood causes damage that lies dormant for many years – even decades. But the damage has been done, and every year more damage is caused on top of that. Eventually, serious skin problems start to develop, causing serious health complications – even skin cancer.
There is not much that can be done to reverse the skin damage caused by decades of exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Once the problems start to appear it signals the start of an endless cycle of pain, expense and inconvenience. The irony is that this could have been prevented if our parents had been diligent about keeping us well protected as children.
The solution to keeping your children protected from the long-term damage of sun exposure is three-fold:
Protection: Ensure that your children are adequately protected at all times of the day. This can be achieved through a combination of sun block and protective clothing, such as our sun sleeves.
Awareness: Involve your children in taking care of their own protection. Instil sun protection as a discipline and part of their daily routine so that this habit can continue into adolescence and beyond.
Collaboration: Work with the principal and teachers at your child’s school and involve them in the safeguarding of all the children in their care. It would be useful for them to make sun block available in tubs on the sports fields or even provide sun sleeves. Do the same with other parents and adults in charge of extra-mural activities.
The health of your children should be a high priority for any loving parent, so do whatever it takes to protect them from sun exposure that could harm them later in life. Do this by keeping them covered and informed – and work with the adults around them, like other parents, teachers and caretakers.
Click here to learn how our unique sun sleeves can help in keeping your child protected.
We would like to encourage you to explore the alternatives that are available. If you are not sure how to go about this or would like some guidance with regards to your unique circumstances, please contact us and we’ll be happy to share some more ideas with you.
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