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5 Ways to Teach Kids to be Sun Smart

Two in three Australians are diagnosed with sun cancer by the age of 70 and while we have been improving globally with sun safety, this is still an alarmingly high percentage. We’re all aware of the dangers of the sun, all of us except for children. Like almost everything, children need to be taught how to be sun safe, however it’s easier said than done. This article will discuss 4 effective ways to teach kids to be sun smart.

  1. Explain Slip Slop Slap
    Get your children well acquainted with the Slip Slop Slap campaign, but more importantly, explain the reasoning behind the campaign. Before you make it into a fun little routine, make sure they understand the seriousness of sun safety. Explain why the sun is dangerous, they might not completely understand, but if you reiterate the seriousness it might surprise you how much they actually take in.
  2. Practice Slip Slop Slap
    The Slip Slop Slap campaign was specifically designed to appeal to children, so get your children well acquainted with the song and the reasons behind it. Once you have done that, turn it into a little fun routine you lead each time they’re going into the sun. Turn it into something they enjoy, that way they will remember it as being a fun, memorable routine that they enjoy.
  3. Use the highest SPF+ sunscreen
    You can get up to SPF100+ sunscreen now, which is incredible and really shows how we’re improving with sun safety globally. However, if you can’t afford or prefer lower SPF, SPF50+ or even 40+ is still effective. In saying this, studies have shown that children should use 30+ or higher to ensure they are protected against UV rays. Especially seeing as though they can accidentally rub it off or jump in the pool that little bit too early.
  4. Don’t forget a hat!
    Even though wearing a hat is included in Slip Slop Slap, they often fall off when kids run around or go swimming. UV rays can cause serious sun damage to your scalp. It can be easy to forget to remind your children to pop their hats back on (often times they might not want to listen). An easier way of ensuring their hats stay on their heads is to purchase hats with drawstrings so that they’re secure and they won’t fall of as easily.

 

According to the Cancer Council of Australia, more than 750,000 people are treated for one or more melanoma skin cancers each year. Additionally, it has been proven that most sun damage occurs before the age of 18, which is why it is so crucial to ensure your children are aware of the dangers the sun can cause. These simple steps will assist you in teaching your children to be more sun safe!

 

 

More tips for raising confident kids

Not long ago we posted an article on how to raise confident kids at any age, whether they be in kindergarten or big school. Confident kids blossom into young people who get through challenges and learn valuable life lessons.

 

Let them make mistakes

Young children who are preschool age are more resilient than you think. How many scraped knees have you patched up, only for your son or daughter to go running back outside with a big grin on their face?

Don’t swoop in to rescue your child when they make a small mistake. They’ll learn. You won’t be there to hold their hand all the time and fix things. Mistakes always happen no matter their age. In preschool, they walk through the house with muddy feet. When they’re a teenager they’ll forget to fill up the car with petrol. Let your son or daughter make mistakes. Remind them not to do it again (gently). And they’ll remember.

 

Moderate social media

We live in a digital age where children are exposed to more screens than ever. It’s commonplace to see a four-year-old with an iPad instead of a book. Granted, sometimes it’s the only way to distract an unsettled child when you need to concentrate. But lock the Facebook feature so they can only play educational/fun games instead.

Capping their exposure to social media use is a responsible measure. Body image and life satisfaction issues are on the rise among young people, some of them as young as primary-school-age.

 

Ask them to contribute

You do a lot of jobs around the house when the kids are at school or watching television. Sometimes they might even want to help you, but more often they get in your way.

Don’t brush them off, though. Raising a confident child involves giving them (age appropriate) responsibilities. Phrase it like:

‘You would help me very much if you picked up your toys when you’re done.’

Positive reinforcement works

When you selectively praise certain behaviour, your child knows they’ve done a good job and will keep doing it well. Thank them for being on their best behavior in public. Same for putting their toys away or making the bed.

 

Keep up the cuddles

Everyone needs human contact, especially children. Even when you’re busy, give your child a cuddle. It’ll make you both feel good at the end of a long day.