I guess we would agree that we haven’t had the most consistent of sunny days so far this summer but we shouldn’t get lulled in to a sense of security about this distant powerful force, because it is now widely known and accepted that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the main cause of skin cancer, sunburn, premature ageing and eye damage… and it doesn’t have to be a stunning sunny day for that to happen.
Which brings back vivid memories of our honeymoon in Bournemouth, in 1979. It was the second day of our honeymoon and although it was cloudy, it was very warm, so we sat on the beach all day. That night we both looked liked lobsters and spent the next two days saying, “Don’t touch me”. The nylon sheets didn’t help much either!
Being lucky enough to live near several sea side resorts, I invariably come across people who are out enjoying long days of sun, sea and sand and, although parents are applying sun lotion to their little treasures, I am still bewildered by how many babies and toddlers have no hat on, no eye protection and no sun umbrella, whilst their parents don sunglasses, a good head of hair and hats!!
So, whenever you’re out and about shopping, in the park or at the beach please put a hat on your child. For what it’s worth, my personal favourite is the desert hat, with the peak and the flap that goes down the back of the neck.
Speaking of hats, they have been the subject of recent conversation in regards to do we or don’t we put hats on full term, healthy new born babies to keep them warm? The general conclusion is ‘No’, as it is now considered a myth that 90% of their body heat is lost through their head (you can read more about this by googling babies and hats). But there is absolutely no controversy over the importance of a sun hat and, whilst your child can’t always understand why they have to do things, there are times when mummy and daddy really do know best.
So let’s talk about how to get your child to keep a hat on their head?
I was fortunate to have a son who liked to wear hats… job done!
My daughter wasn’t so keen, so I used the ‘tie it on’ method until she was clever enough to figure out how to pull the straps undone. Then I adopted the negotiation method, “If you keep your hat on you can go and play, or you can take it off but you have to sit in the buggy with the hood up or under the sun umbrella and watch the others”. Of course, it’s always good to try and find somewhere with shade so they can play freely and safely.
My last hat tip is to let them choose their favourite style, however outrageous and uncool it might look to you. Anything is better than nothing.
Note: If your child goes to nursery or school, do make sure that they are also protecting your child and, more importantly, providing plenty of shade. Staff can sometimes enjoy the sun at the detriment of the children.
Maybe you have some clever ideas for keeping hats on? If so, why not share them in the comments.
Have fun 🙂
Nanny J x