As a mum of two young children, I feel the responsibility of keeping them safe in the sun as being entirely down to me and my husband. I’m determined to ensure that applying sunscreen and wearing hats becomes second nature to them.
Easier said than done.
In any job, there are elements that are enjoyable and there are those that are not – that you may even dread.
For me personally, applying sunscreen has become one of the latter. The minute the kids clap eyes on the cream or I get within an inch of them with it on my person, they are off. Running as fast as their little legs will take them in the opposite direction. A tussle usually ensues, legs and arms flailing in all directions as does the thick white cream. If it goes in their eyes, I’m definitely not their friend. They scream more, then come the tears and quite frankly I start to wish we lived where at least we wouldn’t have to bother with this daily ritual.
Once everyone has calmed down and we are friends again, it’s time to talk hats. Whilst my eldest is a little more resigned to the fact he has to wear a hat (this has only happened through time and sheer persistence on my part) the youngest is still determined to fight me on it. It’s a work in progress and a fight I know I must continue on with.
The next battle is sunglasses. Now this has a tendency to go either way and to be honest, by the time we get to this point we are all a little frazzled. I have accepted there are limits to how much I can force on them in one sitting. I encourage them to wear their glasses but know that any effort to force them will result in a stand-off which may mean never leaving the house. Sometimes they will wear them, sometimes not – it is very much dependent on their mood at the time. I stick them in the bag telling myself I’ll try again later.
Once the sunscreen is (quite literally) slapped on, the hats are (albeit temporarily) in position and the sunglasses are in the bag - we head out.
Once we land at the beach it’s time to get them dressed in their UPF swimwear. Often they strip off butt naked the minute we get down there and I’m left chasing after them, shouting like a lunatic, swimwear in hand.
It’s not the best start to the day but at least I know they are safe. Knowing that there is so much I can do to protect my children (and myself) helps me to enjoy being in the sunshine with them.
Ideas to be sun safe
- Download an app such as SunSmart (www.sunsmart.com.au). This app can tell you what times the UV is the strongest and when you need to wear sunscreen.
- Ensure your children wear a minimum of UPF 50+ sunscreen. The recommendation for adults is UPF 30+.
- Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours
- Wear hats and swimsuits that offer UPF 50+ protection
- Avoid being in the sun during the hottest part of the day.
- Wear sunglasses that meet Australian standards
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Plum swimwear is available in sizes 000 – 7 and is UPF 50+.
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