Summer sun safety for children is something on parents’ minds as the temperatures rise and the days lengthen. You want your children to spend time playing outside but the possibility of getting sunburned is an ever-present thought. Here are some guidelines to help you know how to keep your children safe in the summer sun.

Dermatologists and other experts recommend putting sunscreen on your children at least 15 to 30 minutes before they go outside each and every time before they go outside. This may seem like overkill, but the fact is that if your child gets seriously sunburned even once, it could increase their chance of developing skin cancer in the future.

Once the sunscreen has been applied, it is important to reapply it every two hours your child is outdoors. If your child is spending a good amount of time in the water, you’ll want to apply sunscreen more frequently.

Many dermatologists recommend staying indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Why are these hours singled out? It is during these hours that the sun is at its strongest and most dangerous. This is also true on cloudy or overcast days even though the sun may not seem as strong.

If you want your child to spend time outdoors during summer months, it might be better to plan outdoor time early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Then you’d still want to be sure you and your child are wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your skin and eyes.

Another thing to be concerned about in regard to summer sun safety for children is keeping them hydrated. Children may be having so much fun running and playing they don’t realize they’re sweating and losing important hydration. Here are some things you can do to keep your child from becoming overheated or dehydrated:

  • Plan for the time you’ll be outdoors. Bring along lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, plenty of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Take along some ‘quiet time’ activities to fall back on during the hotter part of the day.
  • Arrive early enough at your location to find a spot under a pavilion or shade tree. This will allow your children to enjoy the fresh air and being outdoors but it will provide some respite from the sun.

You want your children to enjoy their summer but you also want to keep them safe. Summer sun safety for children is simple. Use sunscreen every time they go outdoors, reapply it every two hours or more often, dress them in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and keep them hydrated.  Your children will be able to have fun in the sun and you can relax because you know they’re protected.