In this blog, we will cov­er the top five mis­con­cep­tions about sun-safety.

As we dis­cuss in our blog about our course, Play­ing Out­doors, spend­ing time out­doors is an impor­tant part of chil­dren’s days. 

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. Addi­tion­al­ly, out­door play give chil­dren many oppor­tu­ni­ties for cre­ative, phys­i­cal, and social activities.

The benefits of sunlight

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 them life-long sun-safe habits, will allow them to safe­ly take advan­tage of every­thing the out­doors has to offer. 

Here are the top five misconceptions about sun-safe play

1. 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. If you use sunscreen with the highest SPF available you don’t need to reapply it.

(False!) You should apply a broad-spec­trum sun­screen of at least SPF-30. 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. 

Apply sun­screen at least 30 min­utes before going in the sun and reap­ply it at least every 2 hours. Addi­tion­al­ly, you should reap­ply sun­screen after get­ting wet or sweat­ing profusely. 

4. Not all children need sun protection. 

(False!) All skin can be dam­aged by over­ex­po­sure to UV radi­a­tion. Skin of all col­ors should be pro­tect­ed from the sun. Infants under six months should not use sun­screen, but instead should be kept out of direct sunlight.

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. If you know the risk, then you can plan 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.

Want to learn more about sun safety?

Take our course Sun Safe­ty! In this 2 clock-hour Care Course, you will learn key facts about the inten­si­ty of UV radi­a­tion from the sun and the dan­gers and ben­e­fits of sun­light. The course teach­es strate­gies that will help pro­tect your­self and chil­dren from the harm­ful effects of the sun and how to devel­op a suc­cess­ful sun safe­ty pol­i­cy and program.

Look­ing for more inter­est­ing ear­ly child­hood top­ics? Check out our blog on reduc­ing stress for chil­dren in child care. Learn how to use med­i­ta­tion, yoga, and mind­ful­ness to help chil­dren relax and de-stress.

Care Courses Support

Please con­tact us and 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: We’re here to help!

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