The state of growth that kids are undergoing can be described as dynamic and this is why they are more prone to the sun’s harmful rays compared to adults. There are a lot of vital functions, like their immune systems, that aren’t completely developed while they’re still young and an environmental factor such as the sun’s rays might get in the way of their development. As a parent, you’ll definitely want what’s best for your kids and getting them protected from the harmful rays of the sun comes with the territory. the following can help you do just that:
Another vital aspect in protecting your kids from harmful UV rays is the clothing that you’re letting them wear. It’s recommended that your kids use tightly-woven but loose-fitting garments during those hot and sunny days as these not only protect them from harmful sunlight, they also allow the air to freely flow through them, keeping your kids feeling cool even when the weather’s hot.
Having your kids wear sun-protective hats is not just simple, it also happens to be an effective way to reduce ultraviolet, or UV, radiation to their faces, heads as well as necks. If your children become used to wearing hats whenever they’re outdoors, it ought to be more likely for them to wear one out of routine. Great choices for hats include the following:
1. Bucket hat – The brim should be 2½ inches in length.
2. Hybrid hat – This hat has a wide brim, a neck flap as well as a chin strap.
3. Legionnaire-style hat – It’s similar to the look of a regular baseball cap but it has a wider brim plus a neck flap.
4. Wide-brimmed hat – It has a brim that’s three to four inches wide all around the hat with an optional chin strap.
There are other styles of hats for you to choose from when it comes to protecting your kids from the sun’s harmful rays, but these four types can do the job quite well on their own.
Having your kids wear sunglasses offers more since these significantly reduce eye damage resulting from exposure to the sun. Moreover, there’s supporting evidence that shows that having sunglasses on helps in the preventing cataracts from developing.
If you’re going to buy pairs for your children, you ought to go for ones that provide 100% protection against both UVA as well as UVB rays. Additionally, you can strap a sports band to the sunglasses in order for them not to slip from your kids’ heads.
Have some sunscreen on hand greatly increases the way your kids are protected from UV rays. It is recommended that you liberally apply and re-apply some every couple of hours or after your kids have done their outdoor exercises, swimming, playing or working.
Look for sunscreen that has the following properties:
1. Contains an SPF rating of 30 or above so it can properly screen ultraviolet rays.
2. Includes actives ingredients which screen UV rays, like avobenzone, titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
Wisely making use of the shade plays a most crucial role when it comes to protecting your kids from the harmful rays of the sun. Tell them to seek shade whenever the UV rays are at their highest intensity.
It should be known that trees are great source of shade. These include:
1. Deciduous shade trees
a. Mexican Sycamore – This tree provides a lot of shade for just a small time pans. It can grow from 50 to 80 feet high and more than 30 feet wide. This is a good choice if you’re looking for the most amount of shade for that investment of yours. Once properly irrigated, damage to the roots can be down to a minimal for its size. It’s also less prone to a fungus that’s known as the anthracnose leaf fungus. What’s more is that it’s considered as a water-saving tree.
b. Monterrey Oak – This tree is also known by two names: Mexican Oak or Mexican White Oak. What’s great about this tree is that it’s drought-tolerant. It grows an average of 2½ feet per year to a height of 45 feet. It’s also resistant to the polyphagous shot hole borer, which kills oaks on the US east coast.
c. Maidenhair Tree – Also known as the Ginkgo Biloba, it grows slowly but only at first. It’s hardiness within urban settings makes waiting for it to fully grow worth it. It reaches full growth at 80 feet in height and 60 feet in width.
d. Sawleaf Zelkova – This tree is the American Elm’s relative, but unlike said elm, the Zelkova is less prone to the diseases which make its American relative a bad choice. It’s recommended that you go for the Green Vase variety since it can quickly grow to a height of 70 feet.
e. Silk Tree – This tree offer a broad and an umbrella-like canopy which have finely-cut leaves. The shade is not as dense compared to the others, thus lending itself to shading places where more light may be needed. If you’re getting one, make sure that you get varieties that are resistant to the Verticillium fungus.
2. Evergreen shade trees
a. Australian Willow – This tree’s density isn’t the same as the other evergreens that will be in this list. It has a slow to moderate growth rate and it does require lots of water, so don’t plant it in your lawn.
b. Carrot Wood – Like the Australian Willow, it also grows from a slow to moderate pace, reaching a height of 35 feet. Additionally, you shouldn’t plant this in your lawn since it can easily succumb to root rot due to heavy watering.
c. Fern Pine – Similar to the other evergreens in this list, it grows slowly or moderately to a height or 30 feet. It’s great near foundations and with a small risk of suffering surface root damage.
Aside from trees, shade structures also provide great shelter from UV rays. These structures include:
1) Waiting sheds – You’d definitely want your kid to be in one especially when the sun is at its brightest.
2) Awnings – These serve the same purpose as a waiting shed, albeit it’s attached to a building.
3) Sails – Having these is a must have when you’re out on the boat and on open water. Aside from getting you from point A to point B, it allows you to get a reprieve from the harsh rays of the sun.
4) Umbrella – This portable example of shade isn’t just for those rainy days.
5) Curtain blinds – Apart from your roof, having these on your windows helps you in regulating the brightness as well as the heat coming from the outside during daytime. These are also great for the following reasons:
a) Saving space – Without the need for poles or holdbacks, curtain blinds aren’t that obtrusive and are ideal for either a small window or recess.
b) Practicality – These are easily fitted as well as easy to use. You could even have certain kinds be trimmed to fit certain sizes of windows.
c) Value – Having curtain blinds provide for an excellent economical solution in making window dressings not just attractive but effective as well.
d) In case of extra humidity – That kitchen or bathroom of yours are quite susceptible to a higher level of humidity or even condensation. Having curtain blinds for them can be effective since they’re more suited when it comes to withstanding such conditions.
e) Decorative flair – Curtain blinds can and will definitely top your aesthetic tastes off with regards to getting any room furnished.
f) Protecting upholstery – Your curtain blinds act as a “barrier” of sorts when it comes to protecting the soft furnishings of your home from getting directly exposed to sunlight. What’s more is that it keeps the chances of sun fade on the delicate materials down to a minimum.
g) Helps in keeping a room’s temperature – Drawing curtain blinds can help you in lowering or raising a room’s temperature. This helps in lowering those monthly electric bills.
h) Easily maintained – Window blinds are usually easy regarding maintenance. You’ll be definitely glad to know that a lot of them only require that you quickly wipe them with a damp cloth on occasion. Furthermore, they also last long, especially if they’re made from metal or wood, which means there won’t be a need for you to get them replaced until you’ve decided that you’re ready for them to get changed.
i) Privacy – Curtain Blinds offer you the privacy that you couldn’t get from other options. For the best privacy, you can consider having top-down blinds installed. You can use them by lowering the shade straight from the top so natural light could come in, all while enjoying the privacy that you’ve been looking for.
j) Colors, patterns and styles – Curtain blinds come in a wide array of colors, patterns as well as styles and these allow you in creating the look that you’ve always wanted for your kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom. You could choose to go for mini blinds, roman blinds, vertical blinds or even the cordless kind, which happen to be safer for your kids and your pets, not to mention, they also look elegant.
k) Control the amount of light going into the room – Curtain blinds provide more control over how much light you want to get into the room since you could cover the whole window or just a part of it. There even blinds that don’t allow any light to enter the room at all, which could be ideal if you’ve got a home theatre system installed. This is also ideal for your bedroom, especially if you’re planning on sleeping in.
The Ultraviolet Index
Getting just the right amount of exposure to the rays of the sun can prove to be enjoyable. But, as with anything else, too much can prove risky. Too much exposure to the ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, coming from the sun could result in suffering sunburns on the outset.
As for long-term issues, cataracts and skin cancer are on the top of the list. These are the reasons why the UV Index was developed in order to provide you with the important information you need so you can properly plan those outdoor activities you’ll be having with your loved ones.
The UV Index will provide you with a day to day forecast of what you can expect when it comes to getting exposed to the sun. The Index also takes the clouds and the other local conditions which affect just how much UV radiation is reaching the surface in the different places in the country.
The UV Index is scaled from 1 to 11 and can be read as follows:
1) 2 or less = low exposure
2) 3 to 5 = moderate exposure
3) 6 to 8 = high exposure
4) 8 to 10 = very high exposure
5) 11 or higher = extreme
Keeping an eye out for the UV index during hot and sunny weather can help you when it comes to planning what outdoor activities you and your kids can do in ways that prevents too much exposure to the rays of the sun.
While taking precaution against too much exposure is important, taking special care in adopting sun safety methods when the UV index expects moderate or even higher exposure levels ensures that your kids are only minimally exposed to harmful UV rays.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge necessary when it comes to sun protection for your kids, you can begin planning those summers out as well as enjoy them.