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Family holidays are a perfect opportunity to create life-long memories in the sun, but if you don’t protect your child against its harmful rays, you could have a very unhappy and sunburnt kid on your hands. Furthermore, research by the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that 80% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs when we’re children, and just one instance of blistering can double the risk of skin cancer later in life.
To make sure your children travel safe this summer, we’ve put together these top tips for sun safety.
Getting kids to sit still long enough to apply sun cream can be a nightmare in itself, but apply the right protection at the right time is vital in avoiding sun burn. For example, sun screen should be liberally applied every morning before you set off, and then topped up every few hours (even waterproof creams will start to fade after a few hours of wear). The absolute minimum factor you should use is 15, but if your child is especially pale skinned or sensitive to the sun, you shouldn’t use less than 25.
Once at the beach or in the pool it’s very unlikely that your child will happily agree to regular breaks in the shade, so try to plan your days to minimise playtime in the sun between 10am-4pm when it is at its hottest. Schedule a long lunch, indoor play or even some reading or tablet time in the shade, just to ensure your children don’t get too much sun or become dehydrated. (Note: even on cloudy days UV light can still be extremely strong so don’t be fooled!)
The right clothing can be just as important as sunscreen when protecting your children this summer, so when you’re out and about, make sure they wear UV sunglasses, hats with brims and breathable clothing that covers their shoulders. Dark colours, long sleeves and trousers will all help protect them, but when they have to strip down to their swimming costumes, just make sure you have a large umbrella to offer some shade.
It may sound unusual, but some medications can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s UV rays, so make sure you talk to your doctor before your trip. The most common culprits include antibiotics and acne medication.
Don’t be so busy getting the kids ready for the sun that you forget to protect yourself. Apply plenty of sunscreen throughout the day to show the kids that it’s necessary, and make sure you all drink plenty of water and stay hydrated to avoid sunstroke and other easily preventable illnesses.
Holiday insurance should be a vital part of your family holiday planning, because, just in case you or your children fall ill during the trip, you can seek medical treatment safe in the knowledge that any expensive bills will be covered – as long as you communicate with your insurance company’s emergency medical helpline, who will help you through the process. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information on award winning family travel insurance.
Tips for travelling with children – https://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/family-travel-advice/travelling-with-children/
Staying safe at the beach – https://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/family-travel-advice/staying-safe-at-the-beach/
Family travel insurance buyers guide – https://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/family-travel-advice/family-travel-insurance-buyers-guide/
Single parent travel insurance guide – https://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/family-travel-advice/single-parent-travel-insurance-guide/
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