How to keep children safe in the sun

Summer is great, with warmer weather and more time to be outside, however the sun can cause damage to our children’s delicate skins and it is important to know how to stay safe:

Don’t burn!

The sun’s UV rays can quickly damage children’s skin, even on a cloudy day.

To avoid sunburn:

  1. Always ensure children are wearing appropriate sunscreen, apply liberally over face and body and re-apply every 2-3 hours.
  2. Take particular care if swimming or boating as water intensifies the sun’s rays
  3. Dress the children in tightly woven opaque clothes ideally with a sun factor rating
  4. Regularly go indoors or move into shade.
  5. Avoid being in the sun between 11:00 am and 3:00pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  6. Wear a hat, ideally with an SPF factor, wide brim and ear cover.
  7. Wear sunglasses
  8. Protect little ones in the car and buggy too and invest in sun shades


If  a child is sunburnt they will need medical attention:  

First Aid: Cool under a tepid shower for at least 20 minutes, or apply repeated cool wet towels for 15 minutes. When completely cooled, apply neat Aloe Vera gel to the affected area, this will soothe, reduce swelling and promote healing. Give the child plenty to drink and Calpol for the pain. Seek Medical advice.

Keep drinking!

Continually encourage little ones to drink lots of water as dehydration can quickly lead to heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly following exposure to the sun, the child may have a raised temperature, feel sick, dizzy, headachy, or have stomach ache and it can result in them collapsing.
First Aid: They need to re-hydrate fast, ideally with Dioralyte, water or an isotonic sports drink. Seek medical advice.

Key advice: Combine sufficient sunscreen, appropriate clothing and shade with lots of drinks, and enjoy the summer!

Written by Emma Hammett from First Aid for life

First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

Emma Hammett

First Aid for Life

0208 675 4036


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