We had a busy summer this year! Two glorious months full of hot and sweaty days, beach trips, camping, outings to the splash park, and racing around the playground. Tee learned how to ride her bike this summer, and she spent lots of time riding around the neighbourhood celebrating her newfound mobility with her friends.
All summer long I made sure to protect their skin by limiting their time in the sun during peak UV times (10:00 am to 2:00 pm), investing in UV safe clothing, and liberally applying sunscreen.
The kids may be back in school now – hallelujah! – but I don’t want to become complacent. They still need sunscreen. I put it on before school drop-off and send the tube with them to reapply before heading out to play at lunchtime.
It’s a common misconception that you only need sunscreen in the summer. Wrong! UV rays can damage your skin year round – through light cloud cover, in cooler weather, and even in winter. Reflected sunlight off snow can cause significant sunburns, especially when you don’t feel hot and don’t think to take precautions. Since just one single severe sunburn in childhood can double your risk of developing melanoma, we do our best to be sun smart year round.
When it comes to choosing sunscreen for my family, I look for mineral sunscreens. Unlike chemical sunscreens which can take 20-30 minutes to work, mineral sunscreens protect you from the sun right away. They also don’t degrade with UV exposure, and they’re less likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
We all know that it’s important to protect your skin, but did you know that the sun’s rays can also damage your eyes? Ultraviolet radiation can cause photokeratitis (sometimes called snow blindness, welder’s flash, or corneal flash burns), cataracts, or permanent damage to your retinas.
Children’s eyes are even more vulnerable, so it’s important to make sure the kids wear protective sunglasses whenever it’s sunny. Look for sunglasses (or goggles if you’re hitting the slopes) that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Now that summer is winding down, don’t make the mistake of forgetting about sun safety. Be sun smart and protect your skin and eyes year round!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are my own and based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.