Five ways to keep kids healthy this summer

From sunscreen to keeping cool, here’s how to safely have fun in the sun

Health

The high heat is kicking in, but little ones still want to head out for some fun outdoors. With all the waterparks and beaches in Dubai – can you blame them?

Dr Sarah Rizk, SHAMMA Clinic specialist paediatrician, shares some of her top tips to keeping kids safe under the summer sun.

Cover up
Regular swimsuits can put children at risk of severe sunburn. With the sun at its harshest in the summer, it’s important to ensure that skin is covered up.

Making sure that your children are protected from the harmful UV rays at the beach or pool by making them wear long-sleeved tops, long trousers and dark-coloured clothes is very important.

Sunscreen is key
Remember to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum), a minimum of 30 minutes before heading outdoors.

Dr Rizk also adds that parents often forget to protect their children’s ears, nose, lips and the top of their feet.

Keep cool and carry on
Hats that shade the face, scalp, ears and neck are important to protect your kids from the harmful effects of sun damage as well as heat exhaustion.

It’s also important to stay hydrated. Kids under the age of 12 should be drinking a minimum of 1.5 litres of water daily.

Don’t forget the eyes
Think sunglasses are for adults? Think again! “They protect your kids’ eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Invest in sunglasses that wrap around the eyes and block UVA and UVB rays,” says Dr Rizk.

Avoid Tanning
Tanning isn’t the best way to get vitamin D, particularly for kids who have less layers of skin than adults – so it puts them at a higher risk of permanent damage from sunburn.

“The safest way for children to get Vitamin D is through a healthy diet,” she adds. Ensuring a diet high in fatty fish, nutritious mushrooms, orange juice, fortified milk, cereals and egg yolks can go a long way.”

Clouds don’t block
Whether the weather is cloudy or dusty, always apply sunscreen. Clouds don’t block UV rays, they only filter them, and so it’s important to apply sunscreen at all times.

Like Olaf from Frozen sings: “Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be in summer!”
SHAMMA Clinic, Villa 41, Jumeirah 1, Dubai (04 349 8800).

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