There is nothing better than having our kids playing outdoors, making new friends, feeling the breeze blowing through their hair and exercising without even realizing it. But even as our kids are having the time of their lives, studies show that we have a reason to be cautious and careful — after all most children rack up 50 – 80 per cent of their sun exposure before the age of 18. How many of us can keep our children indoors during the recommended hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.?

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The Burning Facts

The first step to ensure complete protection for our children is by understanding what those beautiful sunrays bring us. Sunrays contain three types of ultra violet rays. They progress from being harmful to really dangerous for our children’s delicate skins. UVA rays while having the least energy penetrate deepest into the skin. They cause premature aging and wrinkles and while they are least associated with skin cancer, they are can cause it if received in high dosage. UVB rays are the most potent and unprotected exposure to these rays result in sunburns, cataracts and immune system damage. These rays are also said to lie behind the development of melanoma. The third kind of UV rays — UVC have the most energy but as they are blocked by the earth’s atmosphere we do not have to worry about them.

UV rays are strongest during summer and places near the equator face their brunt more than others. Another sun fact to keep in mind is how chemical pollution has affected the intensity of the sunrays that reach us. Experts believe that they are more powerful and dangerous than they were 35 years ago. Gwen, mother of two, was very careful about using sunscreen on those hot sunny days when her daughter developed sunburn on a cloudy day Gwen was horrified. Now wiser she shares with us, “Clouds do not block those UV rays. Sunscreen is a necessity on everyday — that’s the rule at my home.”

With these facts on board our first instinct is to cover up our children and keep them indoor at all times. But control yourself for with sunscreen we are able to ensure that our children get the best of both worlds.