Sun Safety for Children

The beginning of the month of December brings with it the first month of summer! Summer means so many different things depending on where in Australia you reside. Summer can mean waking up early and going to the beach for a surf or taking long bush walks being careful not to disturb a snake or it can mean relaxing during an afternoon storm provided by mother nature to cool off the atmosphere.

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Whatever summer means to you as an Australian you will know that the sun will be out in full force glistening down on the place we call home. For a long time Australia has been known as the “sun-burnt country” after Dorothea MacKellar’s poem ‘Core of my Heart’ coined the phrase in a poem she wrote in 1908. Although the phrase is used as a term of endearment a double meaning rings true in contemporary society.

With the sun rays being so strong, especially during this season it is very important that sun safety is discussed and practiced both at home and in care. The Cancer Council Australia recommends a few easy to remember tips (and a small slice of nostalgia) to help guide you to make the right decision when enjoying the outdoors this summer:

  1. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  2. Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  3. Slap on a hat – broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek
  5. Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

By implementing these tips in combination both you and your children can safely enjoy the outdoors whilst decreasing risk of skin cancer. Avoiding direct sunlight for extended periods of time during the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm is also recommended.

Our big, beautiful sun does also have its benefits! Better Health a Victorian Government website suggests that essential nutrient Vitamin D’s best natural source is the sun. Vitamin D is fundamental for strong bones, muscles and overall health. It is also widely believed to have positive effects on mental health although studies have not yet confirmed this.

Everything in moderation is key and with these cool tips, why not go ahead and enjoy a little sunshine this summer!

Learn a little extra..

All of these tips and more can be viewed on the Cancer Council Australia’s website: http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/preventing-skin-cancer/

The benefits of Vitamin D are further explained on the Better Health website:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d

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