6 Sun Protection Tips for the Whole Family
Quotes and Advice for you
We provide health insurance plans for expatriates.
Ask questions or fill in the information for a quote, we're here to help.

6 Sun Protection Tips for the Whole Family

Keep your family safe this summer with UMI's 6 top sun protection tips!

6 Sun Protection Tips for the Whole Family

Alright, so the sun is harmful. But what are we supposed to do about it? Kids have got to be kids. They’ve got to run around and be wild, spend hours in the public pool, join a soccer team and play beach volleyball under the scorching hot summer sun.

But how to make sure the kids are protected and can enjoy all the beautiful benefits of summer without putting themselves at risk of skin cancer? Simple, really. Just be aware of the risks and be diligent about protecting one or their most valuable assets: their skin.

Top 6 Sun Safety Tips

Knowing how to protect yourself and your family from the negative effects of UVA and UVB rays is a lifelong project. New research is adding to our confusion almost daily. What works, and what doesn’t? In 2010, for example, a study was published showing that the type of Vitamin A found in sunscreen is known to cause cancer.

  • Can you protect yourself without smearing that stuff on your skin? Are there healthy sunscreens that offer true protection and don’t have any harmful attributes themselves? Certainly. Just stay alert and use as many alternative methods as you can manage.

1. Wear a hat  

Not only will it keep yourself and the little ones cool, it’ll give you added sun protection on delicate areas and protect the eyes from glare.

  • Choose a hat with at least a three-inch brim all the way around. Remember, a baseball hat leaves the neck and ears exposed - not the wisest choice.
  • For added protection on the eyes, get the whole family suited up in UV-protecting sunglasses, preferably the kind that wrap around the side. (Fine, they’re not so fashionable anymore, but you can’t argue with the results).  

2. Wear protective, long clothing

Proper clothing is especially important for children, fair-skinned or sun-sensitive people, and anyone who spends a lot of time at high elevations. People with darker coloured skin needn’t worry too much about this one. 

  • Wear light coloured and loose fitting attire. Black absorbs a lot of UV rays, but note that pigment-dyed fabrics have a resin that creates that powdery look, providing added UV protection.
  • Some fabrics are better than others when it comes to stopping UV. Weaves and knits, for example, don’t allow much light to pass between the yarns. Polyester and nylon are excellent UV blockers, while cotton, rayon, flax and hemp score much lower.

3. Use sunscreen with all the facts in hand

Ensure the effectiveness of sunscreen by choosing a reliable and safe brand and knowing how to apply it the right way. 

  • Apply 15-20 minutes before going outside. Be generous with the application, even if that all-natural sunscreen did cost a small fortune. Avoid uneven application or missed spots by applying the “BEENS Rule” - Back on knees, eyes, ears, neck and scalp.
  • Reapply every two hours or more if the kids have been swimming. Don’t assume your sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof, even if it says so on the bottle. Sunscreen will never be completely immune to the effects of water. In fact, in the United States, new legislation has been passed to ban suppliers from putting words like sweatproof on the label of any sun cream.

Knowing how to choose a good sunscreen is also important. Remember how long we all instinctively trusted Johnson & Johnson baby projects before they got pulled off the shelves? Be an aware parent and do your research before simply buying whatever’s on sale or whatever smells best. 

  • Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They’re less irritating for kids because they don’t get absorbed into the skin. There’s some debate about ingredients like oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A), which, though approved by some government health organisations, have been shown to be harmful to kids.   
  • Make sure it’s labeled “broad spectrum.” That means the sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Most experts recommend SPF 30 or higher.
  • Beware of sunscreens that are labelled “natural.” Don’t assume the product is therefore made entirely from plants and water. It’s quite shocking the sort of products that are permitted to be labeled “natural” (think animal by-products and the like, some much worse than others).

 4. Spend some time in the shade

Make sure any sit down activities take place in the shade, and take a couple of “recesses” where the kids can go indoors and cool off.

  • The early part of the day is a great opportunity to spend time outside, since the sun hasn’t yet reached its peak. Mid-afternoon is the best time to spend a couple of hours indoors. Kids might like to go back outside for an hour or two before dinner time.
  • Schedule regular breaks, starting with mealtimes, where kids can come out of the sun and take a break.
  • Organise a few activities that can be done under a sun umbrella. (Hint: A giant sun umbrella makes a great centrepiece for a sand castle, or a dazzling crown for a sand mermaid).  

5. Drink plenty of water

This is extremely important if the little ones are active in the sun. Have them drink a whole glass of water at least once per hour, even if they’re not thirsty. Adults and children alike should avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, sugary beverages or diuretic drinks. These will only serve to further dehydrate an already water-strapped body.

6. Cloud cover may not be your friend

In tropical climates, cloud cover actually magnifies the effects of the sun. Don’t let one cloudy day spoil your tropical vacation. When it’s overcase, be sure to drink even more water, be especially vigilant with sunscreen application and spend regular intervals indoors.  


Found this article useful? Like and share!


UAE-Medical-Insurance is owned and operated by Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers LLC who is regulated and licensed by the UAE Insurance Authority (license number 266).

Registered Office: PO Box 391195, Dubai, UAE