There has been lots of controversy in the media around whether teachers should implement the 'no touching rule' in schools and refrain from any physical contact with children.
This has been hotly debated and many parents have raised their concerns around how these rules could affect their children's sun safety.
At present, parents are encouraged to apply sunscreen on their children on a day when the sun is out before they even arrive at school. However, children will find themselves in all sorts of interesting situations - like covered in water or paint - and on some occasions their sunscreen needs to be applied more than once.
However, if teachers are unable to apply the sunscreen themselves, then it is vital that children know how to apply it on themselves and understand why this is so important.
Set a good example
Every parent knows how much children love copying their parents; whether it is imitating their actions or repeating what they say in the exact same tone as they said it. Knowing this, you should always ensure that you display model behaviour, especially around your kids.
It is common for parents to be very careful in the sun with their children and to constantly check that they have enough sunscreen on, but they are much less likely to look after their own skin. If children see both of their parents protecting their skin in the sun, then they will follow their example and encourage their peers to do the same in the playground.
Without trying to scare children, parents should explain to them why they need to apply sunscreen and what the consequences are if they don't do it. Involving children in the conversation around sun protection will help to engage them - and will ensure that even when they are at school, they are sun safe.
Take preventative measures
Next time you apply sunscreen on your child, take the time to show them how much to use and the best way to avoid missing any areas of their skin. I would recommend using at least an SPF30 and applying the sunscreen generously and thoroughly to ensure their whole body is protected.
Make sure that your child is aware when sunscreen might have rubbed off e.g. if they are playing with water or paints, or if they have changed into their P.E. kits or used a towel. They must also understand that they need to wait 15 minutes after applying before going out into the sun - as this is how long it takes for the cream to form a protective layer on the skin.
However, kids can often be preoccupied with a game or too excited to get outside to remember. So to help provide that extra bit of protection, I would advise using a single application product, such as Calypso Once a Day Sun Protection. This is formulated to bind with the skin more strongly than other sunscreen products and so lasts much longer, meaning your child will be protected all day.
It is still up for debate as to whether teachers should be able to apply sunscreen on children. Although it hasn't been completely banned just yet, some schools will take a firmer line than others. With this in mind, it is important that parents are taking the necessary steps to ensure their children are properly protected against the harmful effects of the sun.
By educating children about the dangers of being outside in the sun unprotected, and empowering them with the knowledge they need to stay safe, parents can rest assured this summer.