Being under the sun is what we, Canadians, look forward to after long months of cold, harsh winter. If you gave birth in the middle of winter (like me), I’m pretty sure you used your newborn as an excuse not to face the not-so-idyllic weather outside. Now that the weather has steadily stayed warm and sunny, it’s time to bask in the sun. But before you do, make sure you’re well protected from the sun’s little rays.
Soaring temperatures and cloudless sky can only mean one thing, summer is here to stay. I don’t know when it started, but I have been avoiding the summer sun knowing how damaging its rays are. Probably after the first time I got a really bad sunburn when I was 10 years old. I have tried wearing lightweight long sleeve tops to protect my shoulders and arms – as I’m more prone to getting sun spots and freckles on these areas – but I easily get hot, which in turn makes me sweat. And I sweat excessively. ICK! Due to this, my concerns have lead to have a slight obsession with sunscreen, and sun protection in general. My longtime boyfriend can attest that I don’t leave the house without smothering myself in sunscreen. I’ve also upped my game and smother my face with extra sunscreen when I noticed a couple sun spots a year ago. *faints inside*
Now that I have a little one, who’s skin is much more delicate than my sensitive skin, it’s only natural that I want to protect her from the sun. The warm weather only visits for 2 short months, so gone are my hiding from the sun days as I love being outdoors with little P. We love our strolls, but I’m extremely mindful of the time we go out because the sun’s rays of ultraviolet radiation intensifies between 10 am and 4 pm. Take a look at the weather before heading out for obvious reasons, but don’t be fooled (and skip out on sun protection) when the forecast states (partly) cloudy: the clouds only reduce the UV exposure, the rays can still penetrate through them. The stroller’s canopy is opened to the max, and we bring an extra lightweight blanket to use for extra cover just in case. I’ve also been meaning to purchase a stroller sun shade with UV protection.
With that, here’s a short but useful list of P’s sun protection:
Little P’s Summer Sun Proctection Must Haves
I can’t stress enough how important it is to use sunscreen before sun exposure (ideally 15-30 minutes prior). It does the job of protecting you from harmful rays than can penetrate the skin and cause damaging results. My skin hurts at the thought of leaving the house without sunscreen on, I can only imagine the actual pain my child will feel when her skin has been fried under the sun. Look for UVA/UVB or Broad Spectrum protection sunscreens and be sure to reapply after being in the water, sweating, and every 2 hours. For more information about UVA/UVB and sunscreen use, click here.
I was never a fan of wearing a hat until I realized its added protection from the sun. A wide brimmed hat not only looks stylish, but your face, neck, and nape will thank you for showing them extra love. P looks super adorable with her scallop-edge sunhat that goes with just about anything! I love hats on babies, especially during the summer because there are more varieties and are extra funky; wide-brim, bucket hat, side flap hat, baseball cap, all of them! For extra protection, look for a hat with UPF; great if you plan to be under the sun for a long period. But please don’t.
The sun’s brightness is bothersome and blinding to the eyes of a grown person, it’s much worse for little kiddos. If adults need to protect their eyes, so do children. Forget about the sun’s shine being bothersome, it’s extremely harmful to developing eyes, hence why it’s needed. You child will also look super cool. Protected and cool, sounds good to me.
You may have come across clothing, especially in swimwear, with UPF. It stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It does exactly that, it protects your skin from the ultraviolet rays. The higher the number, the more protection it provides. However, you don’t need to purchase UPF specific clothing to protect your child’s skin. You can opt of lightweight long sleeves shirts and pants. Keep in mind that the lighter and thinner the fabric, the less protection it provides; the darker and thicker, the more protection. Babies’ skin are much thinner than adults’ and need that extra little layer of protection.
Please always remember the importance of sun safety. Keep in mind that children’s skin are more sensitive and delicate than adults, so they are more susceptible to suffer from the short- and long-term effects of sun exposure. It may only be a tan now, but continuous and long-term exposure can lead to premature aging skin, or worse, skin cancer. That extra effort taken will definitely be worth it. It’s always so much fun being outside and enjoying the great sunny weather, it’s even more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about damaged skin.