n many ways, sunlight is essential for our health. However, as Shakespeare’s Rosalind said in “As you like it”, we all can have “too much of a good thing”.
Whilst we might all have differing tolerances based on our skin’s tone, it has been clearly proven that too much sunlight is dangerous and harmful for everyone.
FACT : Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) causes long term skin damage, skin cancers, eye damage and immune system suppression. It also leads to high rates of fluid loss which, if not remedied by regularly drinking enough replenishment fluids, can also lead to potentially dangerous conditions like dehydration.
Practicing sun safety is as important for children as it is for adults, if not more so. It could be argued that the sun presents a particularly severe threat to children’s health because:
a. Children often lack the foresight or situational awareness when it comes to the time they spend in the sun and hence they tend to remain exposed for longer or they do not seek out and wear the recommended protective clothing without the direct intervention of an adult.
b. Children generally tend to spend more time outdoors and therefore are at increased risk because of this simple fact.
c. Children’s young complexions are such that they are more prone to damage and burning.
This topic is designed for you to have a conversation with your child about how to stay safe whilst out and about in sunlight.
• Playing outside is fun but the sun can burn us if we are not careful.
• Cloudy weather is just as harmful – it does not mean you will not burn.
• Covering up, sunscreen and a hat are very important.
• Drinking lots of water is important to prevent dehydration.
• Sun safety is important for everyone irrespective of skin tone or complexion.
QUESTIONS TO START A CONVERSATION
• What can happen if we don’t take care in the sun?
• What should you do to keep safe in the sun?
OUR SUN WISE MANTRA
“Playing outside is fun,
but cover up when in the sun!”
DRESS FOR THE SUN
Zi, Zanzi, Zack and Flash need to be dressed to go out in the sun safely.
HINT: Rash vests & Hats?
A4 HOME WALL POSTER
Print these posters as part of a set.
Collect one for each Topic.
For a bit of fun, here’s a completion certificate to print out and complete. Try to collect them all!