Hooray for summer! It’s prime time for families to start traveling or spending a great deal of time outdoors.

Whether your family is headed to the beach, pool, or park this summer, it’s important to remember to protect everyone from the sun’s harsh rays – especially babies and toddlers because of their delicate skin.


Time Your Outdoor Activities

If you can, try to stay indoors from 11 AM to 4PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest. A UV index 3 or higher can be dangerous to delicate skin and sunburn can cause dehydration and fever.


Wear Protective Clothing

Babies and toddlers should be dressed in lightweight clothing and if you can find it – tops, bottoms and swimsuits that have built in UV protection.

Hats and sunglasses will protect their head and eyes. Look for wide brim sun hats that have a chin strap and sunglasses with an adjustable strap to help them stay put.


Choose the Right Sunscreen

Health Canada advises not to use sunscreen on children under six months old and use clothing instead to protect their sensitive skin.

For kids six months and older, use broad-spectrum sunscreen as they offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Check that the sunscreen you have at home isn’t expired and test a small amount on your children’s arm to ensure it does not cause a reaction.

As with every family member, apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply often throughout the day even if you’re using a waterproof brand.


Stay in the Shade

Keep little ones out of direct sunlight and use a stroller with a large hood.

When outdoors, use an umbrella or look for a shaded spot (under a tree or gazebo) to play.

If it’s baby’s first road trip make sure you have windows shades in to keep the UV rays from passing through the glass.


Keep Them Hydrated

If it’s hot and humid outside, it’s very easy for children to become dehydrated. Offer babies and toddlers water, milk or formula often if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors.


Find a Summer Friendly Baby Carrier

Using a baby carrier that’s made of heavy and thick material is not the best option in the summer. Look for one made of lightweight nylon or cotton to keep baby from getting too hot.

Spending time outdoors in the summer is a great way to create memories with your family. Just be sure to stay safe when having fun in the sun.

Cheryl is a family travel blogger and writer who is constantly planning her family’s next trip. You can keep up with her at KidsOnAPlane.com or connect with her on Twitter@KidsOnAPlane.