Have a Summer that is Made in the Shade!

I grew up on a farm and enjoyed being outside, but hated getting a sunburn! As a person with a fair complexion, freckles and red hair, I got many of them. Now that I am older and wiser, I know how to protect myself against sunburns.

The most obvious way to be sun-safe is to apply sunscreen frequently to all exposed parts of the body. A few years ago, I rode in a convertible through Nebraska and was diligent about applying sunscreen frequently. It was not until I washed my hair that I realized I had not put sunscreen where my hair parts. Take it from me: a sunburned scalp can be painful! Remember to use balm with SPF 15 or higher on your lips, too.

Even if you or your children have dark hair and complexion, you still need to take precautions to avoid sunburns and be safe in the sun. Besides generous use of sunscreen (get written permission from the parents if you provide child care), you can do other things to be safe and cool while outside this summer.

  • Put play areas under shade trees or in the shade of a building.
  • Set up a tent or canopy. If you do not have either, put a light-colored sheet over a card or picnic table.
  • Set up a water sprinkler for children to run through.
  • Take buckets, sponges and toys outside for water play.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats that cover the ears and back of your neck.
  • Wear lightweight cotton shirts with long sleeves. Cotton fabric is cooler than synthetic.
  • Wear sunglasses that protect eyes from both UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum) rays.
  • Stay inside during the hottest part of the day (between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.).

Sunburn is not only painful – it can lead to skin cancer that can be deadly. Children need time to be outside, but it is up to the adults in the children’s lives to make sure they are safe. Make sure you and your families have a summer that is “made in the shade!

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Tags: sun , sun safety , shade , sunscreen , sunburn

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