Teaching Children the Importance of Applying Sunscreen

Application of sunscreen is an integral part during daytime outings and specially when visiting the beach or any other sunny place. While sunscreen is not capable of preventing ultraviolet exposure by 100%, it can surely minimize the exposure to a significant degree. However, it seems to be the only plausible option to protect the skin from UV radiation apart from wearing UV reflecting cloths or other accessories, which at times may be impractical to wear during such outings. While many people are aware about the usefulness of sunscreen in protecting the skin, making children understand the importance of wearing sunscreen is a tough ask. However, with continued effort and persuasion, parents can overcome the resistance and the lack of corporation from children towards sunscreen application.

Make sunscreen application a normal routine

One important aspect of trying to make children understand the need to apply sunscreen is to start very early. Parents might think that their children are too young to understand what it means to apply sunscreen when going out although experts do not agree with this presumption. When a child has been continuously exposed to the process of applying sunscreen before going out in the sun, the child will become sensitized and the process will become a normal routine rather than a one off event. When sunscreen application becomes an integral part of the child’s normal routine, it will be the child who will remind the parents about the need to take the sunscreen when going out or else to apply the same all over the body. Thus, parents should try to sensitize small children towards the use of sunscreen from a very early age and continue to stress on its importance at all times.

Lead by example

Leading by example is another important aspect of making children to understand the importance of applying sunscreen. During childhood, children tend to imitate their parents in almost everything that they do. At times, they may try to imitate someone they like instead of imitating their parents. In any event, if parents can make use of this fact and try to lead by example when applying sunscreen, it is likely that the children will follow suit.

Adhere to good practices

At times, parents display bad practices regarding sunscreen application, which may trickle down to the practices of their children as well. For instance, if the parents practice one time application of sunscreen instead of repeating the application every 1 to 2 hours, the children may also do the same. At times, parents may not apply generous amounts of sunscreen and will limit the application only to certain areas of the body, which they think as the places needing protection. However, such practices may make children to believe that sunscreen application can be done rather loosely. Such false beliefs can be dangerous and may cause damage to the child’s understanding of the importance of applying sunscreen during outings.

Emphasize on the need to wear protective clothing and other accessories

Furthermore, parents should also emphasize the need to support the action of sunscreen by wearing appropriate protective clothing and hats during daytime outings. This will help children to realize that they should always cover-up as much as possible even when they have applied sunscreen in order to be better protected from the harmful effects of UV rays.

As the child grows older, it is time to let them know the devastating effects of being exposed to UV rays. If the parents have continued to stress these facts from a very early stage, it may not be that difficult for the grown-up children to grasp the meaning of applying sunscreen.