Children and babies have very delicate skin so limiting their sun exposure is very, very important. Children burn very quickly in the sun. Much of the skin damage and skin problems relating to sun exposure that adults experience later in life is a result of an over-exposure to sun as children. It is absolutely critical that parents and carers take great care in protecting the skin of little ones. Protecting young skin will not only help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer later in life, it will help prevent freckles, moles and painful sunburn as well.
Beach Robes (especially those with large hoods and long sleeves) are not a total skin protection answer for kids, but they go a very long way to protect your child’s skin when having fun at the beach, the lake or the poolside. And they are so easy. Parents should consider it a mandatory to have an effective beach robe or sun cover-up for their children when they are going swimming.
There are many more things a parent or carer can do to limit a child’s sun exposure when swimming. Here are a few for starters:
1. Don’t go out when it is blazing hot! On hot and sunny days, go out nice and early and come back early, before it is too hot. Or leave your adventures until the afternoon.
2. Dress your kids so they are well covered. Long sleeves, nice big hats, loose pants and sunglasses. Just as you would for yourself.
3. Before you leave the house, get the kids sun-creamed up. It is best to allow sunscreen about 15 minutes on the skin to take full effect, so if you do it at home you’ll be ready to go by the time you get outside. It’s hard I know – most kids don’t like being covered in cream. Try to make it fun with a regular song or rhyme.
4. When outside, seek out the shady spots to set up camp. Under trees is great. You can also use those pop up beach tents and beach umbrellas. Think first, ‘were’s a shady spot’.
5. Reapply sunscreen every few hours, or after swimming or heavy sweating. Make sure you dry your kids down before reapplying or the sunscreen or it will just slide over their skin and not go in.
So you don’t get caught out without sunscreen, keep small tubes in the car and in your bag and leave them there. They will go out of date in time (they become less effective when old) so check the used by dates from time to time. Think beyond their swimmers when you are packing for a day out. What will they wear to the beach, after swimming. Cover-ups and hats are as much part of your day kit as swimmers.
Kids are funny things. Nearly all of them LOVE water and swimming (or splashing for the little ones). This love is single minded – it blocks out all other rational considerations – like getting cold! Kids will stay in the water until they are blue with cold. ‘Are you cold darling??’ is always answered with a firm NO! (while they stand huddled in uncontrollable shivers). Kids have little bodies that get cold easily. Even if they are not cold in the water, when they get out and the breeze catches them they quickly get cold.
Beach and swim robes do two things to solve this. Firstly they dry the kids down. Secondly they cover them up. The towelling in itself if warming but it also acts as a wind break to stop the wind chill.