With the high heat kicking in and little ones wanting to head out for some fun in the sun, it is very important to ensure their safety in the Dubai Summer. During an interactive community event, on Sunday 13 May, SHAMMA Clinic specialist Pediatrician, Dr. Sarah Rizk, shared a few tips with parents on how to keep their kids safe during the hot Dubai summer. Specialist in pediatric and adolescent Medicine, Doctor Sarah Rizk answered key questions and shared her top five tips to ensure that parents are informed and ready to safely face Dubai’s sweltering summer months.
Swimsuits can put children at risk of severe sunburn. With the sun at its harshest in the summer, it is important to ensure that the skin is covered up. Sometimes sunscreen is not enough to help protect from sun damage. 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 pants, and dark-colored clothes is very important. Remarking on ways to ensure your children’s safety, Doctor Rizk also added that “Parents must always ensure that the clothes are dry, as dry clothes provide the best protection.”
DON’T FORGET THE EYES!
Highlighting another key body part that is exposed to sun damage frequently, Dr. Rizk mentioned the benefits of sunglasses, an essential usually only used by adults. “They protect the your children’s 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,”
SUNSCREEN IS KEY!
Though this seems like the most obvious thing to do, parents often forget how to properly apply sunscreen. Remember to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum), a minimum of 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Unprotected skin can suffer sun damage in a little as 15 minutes of exposure. Dr. Rizk also adds that parents often forget to protect their children’s ears, nose, lips and the top of their feet “as these are the areas that are often the most unattended to, and most exposed to the sun.” It is important to note that sunscreen does not allow your children to spend more time outdoors than they would otherwise.
Dr. Rizk continued to highlight that tanning is not the best way to get vitamin D, particularly for children, who have less layers of skin than adults, putting 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 mentioned. Ensuring a diet high in fatty fish, nutritious mushrooms, orange juice, fortified milk, cereals and egg yolks can go a long way to providing children the vitamin D their bodies need. Many children’s supplements are also an excellent source of vitamin D.
CLOUDS DON’T CONTAIN!
Parents need to ensure their kids apply sunscreen, whether the weather is cloudy or dusty. “Clouds do not block UV rays, they only filter them so it’s important to apply sunscreen no matter how cloudy or dusty the sky looks,” Dr. Rizk concluded.