Playing outdoors: Skin protection for children
Health and safety advice regarding sunny weather and UV protection for children.
We all love the sun, but we need to be careful about how much of its powerful rays we are exposed to.
Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays. But the good news is you can protect your skin.
The Kellogg’s GAA Cúl camp coaches have been introduced to the SunSmart programme. This programme gives coaches information and fun activities they can use to encourage children to protect their skin by following the SunSmart 5 S’s when outside.
1. What months in the year do we need to protect our skin from the sun?
In Ireland from April to September, even when it is cloudy. Being SunSmart protects your skin from the sun, helping to stop the sun damaging your skin.
2. What times of the day are UV rays from the sun strongest from April to September?
UV rays are at their strongest from April to September especially between 11am-3pm in Ireland.
3. Why should we cover our skin from the sun’s rays even on cloudy days?
Even when it is cloudy, you should protect your skin as the sun’s rays can travel through cloud.
Healthy Ireland’s Simple SunSmart 5 S’s tell you how you can enjoy playing outdoors in the sun, protect your skin and avoid getting sunburn.
The SunSmart 5 S’s tells us to
- Slip on clothing: We need to cover our skin as much as we can, using tops that have long sleeves to cover your arms and collars to cover your neck;
- Slop on sunscreen: Sunscreen can help protect our skin when we are out in the sun. Children need a stronger sunscreen than adults, with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 50, while adults should wear a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 30. The sunscreen you use should be water resistant and be reapplied every couple of hours;
- Slap on a hat with a wide brim: This will shade your face, ears and neck from the sun;
- Seek shade: When playing outside in the sun, try to play under trees or shade if you can;
- Slide on sunglasses: The sun can also damage your eyes. Wearing wraparound sunglasses that have UV protection protects your eyes.
Remember even when it is cloudy you should protect your skin as the sun’s rays can travel through cloud.
For more information and to learn how to protect yourself and your family visit the SunSmart hub at www.hse.ie/sunsmart and check out #SunSmart on social media.
SunSmart for Children and Young People