If you’re a child care provider, day care center or school, sun safety during play ground and outdoor time is important. Children have sensitive skin and can burn in less than 15 minutes! Besides leading to long term potential health impacts of early sun burns, children and adults alike are miserable suffering from a sun burn. Those taking care of children need to consider having policies in place that not only conform to state licensing but protects children from harmful rays. Educating parents can be half the battle.
Having past child care provider and day care experience I understand that there are only so many things directors, care givers and teachers can do. Much of the responsibility is up to the parent to provide safe sunscreen, sign medical release forms for you to put on the sunscreen and understand and read the policies you have in place.
Child Care Providers, Day Cares and Schools Do Your Part
1. Safe Sunscreen Information. Provide parents with the information on providing their children with safe sunscreen that will do more good than harm. Share this article on how to pick a safe sunscreen from the Environmental Working Group. The more you share helpful information with parents, the better! I also love my friend, SafeMama and her tip sheet for providing safe sunscreen.
2. Be Proactive. Using the guide for safe sunscreen consider contacting one of the companies listed for coupons and sharing these with your families. Will a local store help offer a discount? Perhaps your center could buy some of the different sunscreens and have them available for families to purchase directly from the center. There is even some fundraising potential if you get creative!
3. Communicate in Advance and Repeat. Busy parents need reminders and forewarning. Send notes home educating parents on sun safety, making some recommendations. Sample letters are provided by Sun Safety for Kids to help busy providers, free of charge.
4. Have Policies in Place. Your state licensing agency probably has something for you to follow, along the lines of weather permitting activities for children but does this include UV Index and protection policies? The sun isn’t the same as it was 50 years ago in terms of its powerful rays penetrating the ground we walk on and touching our skin. Having a policy in place lets parents know what you expect, gives a provider something to fall back on as written evidence and it means you take sun safety seriously. For sample policies and examples visit Sun Safety for Kids.
5. Celebrate Don’t Fry Day. This day is celebrated on the Friday before Memorial day because Memorial Day usually marks the start of summer. Sun Safety For Kids, free of charge, is offering printable posters, activity sheets and video trailers for you to share online or watch with your students, families and staff. My experience tells me that the more we educate the children the more it becomes natural and a habit.