As spring blooms this year, many of us look forward to more time outdoors with the little ones. And as we discuss in our course, Sun Safety, the outdoors offers children many opportunities to be creative, social, and physically active. Typically, children can be louder, more intensely active, and engage in more unlimited exploration than they can indoors. Outdoor games support gross motor skill development, team building, and unlimited spontaneous discovery and learning moments. In today’s blog, we discuss the top five misconceptions about sun-safe play in child care.
Sunlight benefits us physically, behaviorally, and emotionally. However, sunlight can also be dangerous. Overexposure to sunlight damages the skin and eyes and can contribute to skin cancer. Protecting children from the sun’s UV radiation, and teaching children life-long sun-protective habits, will allow them to take safe advantage of everything the “outdoor classroom” has to offer! opportunities to be creative, social, and physically active. Typically, children can be louder, more intensely active, and engage in more unlimited exploration than they can indoors. Outdoor games support gross motor skill development, team building, and unlimited spontaneous discovery and learning moments.
Here are the top five misconceptions about sun-safe play
- Almost no UV radiation reaches the Earth’s surface on cloudy days. You cannot get a sunburn when it is cloudy. (False!) UV radiation is present whether or not you can see the sunshine. Even on cloudy days, it reaches the Earth’s surface and can cause sunburns.
2. As long as you are wearing sunscreen, there is no need to take any other sun protective measures. (False!) Sunscreen should not be the only part of your sun protection plan. Even while wearing sunscreen, seek shade and wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Try Australia’s slogan to encourage sun-safe behaviors: “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.” “Slip on a shirt. Slop on SPF-30 broad-spectrum sunscreen. Slap on a hat that shades your face, neck and ears, Seek shade, and Slide on sunglasses.”
3. You should use sunscreen with the highest SPF available for maximum protection. (False!) You should apply a broad-spectrum SPF-30 sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going in the Sun and reapply it every 2 hours and after getting wet or sweating profusely. Higher SPFs provide only slightly more protection than lower SPFs, and may mislead users into skipping reapplication or staying outside for long periods of time.
4. Not all children need sun protection. (False!) All skin can be damaged by overexposure to UV radiation. All skin of all colors should be protected from the Sun.
5. It is easy to determine how intense UV radiation is just by looking or going outside. (False!) It is not possible to determine UV radiation intensity without special equipment. For example, cloud cover and rain can mask the intensity of the sun. Knowing the UV radiation exposure risk can help you plan when it is safe to spend time outdoors and what protection you and the children should use. Use the EPA UV index tool on our website to learn the UV Index value for your area.
Take our course Sun Safety to learn more! After taking this 2 clock-hour Care Course, you will be able to identify key facts about the intensity of UV radiation from the Sun, describe the dangers and benefits of sunlight, choose strategies to protect yourself and children from the harmful effects of the Sun, and explain how to develop a successful sun safety policy and program.
Looking for more interesting early childhood topics? Check out our recent blog on reducing stress for children in child care. Learn how to use meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are excellent ways to help children relax and de-stress.
Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us at 1-800-685-7610, Monday- Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!