Sun Safety For Kids – How to Protect your Little Ones this Summer

Sun safety for kids is an important aspect of summer. They want to run and frolic in the heat, take a dip in the pool, or take part of a baseball game. All adults should familiarize themselves the details of protecting kids from the sun so that they are happy and healthy during their favorite time of the year!

sun safety for kids

Below are four factors to consider when practicing good sun safety for kids (as well as yourself!).

Sun Safety for Kids

1. Shade

Many people think that sunblock is the best protection from the sun’s rays. However, that is actually not the case. Proper sun safety for kids utilizes shade from the sun so that the children are shielded altogether. The shade is particularly important when the sun is the brightest – which is usually between 10am – 4pm. If your kids need to be out during this time, have them play beneath a canopy, tree, or umbrella.

2. Sunscreen

If playing in the shade just isn’t an option, sunscreen is the next best thing for sun protection. Be sure to use at least SPF 30 and choose one that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Ages six months and older need to have sunscreen on when outdoors, and be sure to reapply it every two hours or as they get out of the swimming pool.

3. Proper clothing

Sun safety for kids even flows into the clothes that they wear. Make sure that they are always wearing a sun hat when outside. The right hat will help shield their vulnerable skin on the ears and face. Look for clothing that actually protects against the sun’s rays. Rash guards with UVA/UVB protection are perfect for the beach and pool, for example.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends choosing clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or above. You should use sunscreen in combination with standard clothing to get maximum protection against the sun’s rays.

4. Eye Protection

Your kids should be wearing sunglasses too! Long term exposure to the sun can increase the chance of cataracts, so make sure your kids are protected with sunglasses offering 100% UV protection. If your child really won’t wear sunglasses then a wide-brimmed hat is another option.

It is always important to promote sun safety for kids. Their skin is more delicate than adult’s, and being exposed too much when they are little can set up problems for them in the future. Remember, the sun’s rays can still do harm even on a cloudy day, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!


  1. says

    Thanks for this reminder! My kids are very fair skinned and we have a history of melanoma in the family so we try hard to protect them as much as we can.

  2. Sandy VanHoey says

    Great tips and we need to get a hat for my grandson to be outdoors with. He is going to Florida and will be outdoors a lot so this is real important. I know he has glasses and sunscreen but the hat would be of great help

  3. says

    This is a great post. The downside of summertime is how quickly and easily children, especially fair-skinned ones (my son is so pale he’s practically albino, and he fries in just a couple of minutes of unprotected sun exposure), wind up with sunburns. Sunburned babies, toddlers, and young children are appalling to see, since it’s obvious that their parents didn’t think of protecting their skin. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and staying in the shade whenever possible are all very important to-haves and to-dos for summer!

  4. Kate says

    Thanks for posting about eye protection. I don’t think people realize (I know I didn’t) how much damage you can do to your eyes without it.

  5. says

    My daughter is a red head so she has very light skin and I am always worried about sunburn! When we spend the day at the beach, I am reapplying sunscreen constantly! It drives her crazy! We tried the sprays, but she didn’t like those. She’s old enough now that she knows if she doesn’t cooperate, she can’t go out, so it’s getting better. We do try to keep hats or sunglasses on her, and since I usually have those on, she is more likely to keep them on.

  6. says

    As a skin cancer victim and teacher, I have made it my personal mission to provide resources to teach sun safe behaviors.
    As a result, my website,, promotes sun protection and sun safety for kids and teens. It contains resources and information from the United States and around the world for teachers, schools, parents, teens, and children to help prevent skin cancer.

    Here is a separate link to my booklet for our youngest readers; Sun Safely Alphabet Book: 26 letters to sun safety. It is available free digitally!


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