Keeping Children Safe in the Sun

Keeping Children Safe in the Sun

As you may well be aware, sunburn significantly increases the risk of skin cancer and can occur even on cloudy days if UV levels are high enough. While it’s essential for children (and adults) to get enough Vitamin D from sunlight, this should never come at the expense of their health.

In this blog, we’ll explore everything you need to know about keeping your child safe in the sun. That way, they can enjoy all of the learning opportunities that the great outdoors offers while protecting their skin.

Understanding SPF and Star Ratings

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the level of protection against UVB (Ultraviolet B) radiation, with ratings from 2 to 50+. Higher numbers indicate stronger protection.

The star rating on sunscreens indicates the level of UVA (Ultraviolet A) protection, with up to 5 stars available in the UK. A higher star rating signifies better protection.

Now, you might be wondering what UVA and UVB really mean and what the differences are. Simply put, UVA has a longer wavelength and is associated with skin ageing. Whereas, UVB has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning. Ultimately, it’s important to protect the skin from both.

Outdoor Provision at Tommies Childcare

At Tommies Childcare, we believe children should always have access to the outdoors, including during warmer weather. Our goal is to ensure children can safely enjoy our garden areas without the risk of sunburn or sunstroke.

To achieve this, we work in partnership with parents, and we even have a policy outlining our approach to sun safety at the nursery.

Our Sun Safety Policy

Parents and families take different approaches to sun safety, but it’s important that we adopt a consistent procedure across our nurseries so that we can keep children protected, regardless of their skin colour or natural resistance to UVA/UVB.

Our policy states the following:

  • Children under six months will always be kept out of direct sunlight.
  • Staff are aware that, even on overcast days, UV rays can cause harm.
  • Parents are asked to provide:
    • A hat that protects their child’s head, face, and nape. While the nursery may have spare hats available, they should not be relied upon.
    • A high-protection sunscreen (at least SPF 30) with high UVB protection. If a specific brand of sunscreen is preferred, parents must notify the nursery.
  • Staff will ensure:
    • Sunscreen is applied to all exposed skin areas.
    • Opportunities to play in the shade are available.
    • Access to water for drinking and play is provided.
    • Children are not exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods between 11:00 and 15:00.

Please note that any parent who does not consent to staff applying sunscreen to their child at nursery will not be eligible for a place in our nurseries.

By following this guidance, we can ensure that children safely enjoy the benefits of outdoor play, come rain or shine.

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search