Step Ahead Teacher with children

Here’s how to keep little ones safe during summer

We actively encourage our children to connect with the natural environment outdoors, where they can happily spend many hours!

While arts, crafts and other indoor activities are great fun, there’s nothing quite like playing outside on a lovely sunny day. However, that beautiful New Zealand sun comes with a warning, with an increased risk of UV radiation.

All childcare centres and schools are required to have a sun protection policy, and Step Ahead is no exception! We ensure your child has access to shade, clothing, sun hats and sunscreen whenever playing outside.

Even at home, remember the easiest way to protect your family is to slip, slop, slap and wrap.

Slip – slip on a shirt, and slip into the shade. Look for long-sleeved rash shirts or clothing with UV protection for an extra barrier against damaging UV rays.

Slop – slop on sunscreen. Not all sunscreens are equal – it’s essential to look for a sunscreen with SPF30 or more. SPF means Sun Protection Factor, and the number is a measure of how long it will take the sun to burn with the sunscreen applied, compared to without sunscreen. Make sure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum, which means it protects from both UVA (causing skin damage) and UVB (causing sunburn).

Slap – slap on a hat with a wide brim that covers the face and neck. Children can be nearly impossible to keep hats on, so look for one with a neck strap or tie to help keep it in place.

Wrap – wrap on sunglasses. While it’s not always possible to wear sunglasses at a childcare centre, getting your child into the habit from a young age is vital. Check they have UV protection, so they don’t just look cool, but protect from those damaging UV rays.

Children learn from observation, so lead by example this summer – make being SunSmart a family activity!