Tips and Thoughts about Sun Safety in a Nursery Setting
Adults are aware of the dangers associated with the sun. We don protective clothing, we wear sunglasses and we coat any exposed skin with sunscreen when heading out and about. While this is common sense, we need to remember that children are not nearly as cognisant of what risks the sun can pose. Those with lighter skin need to be particularly careful. This is why teachers and educators need to adopt the proper safety tips within nursery school settings if they hope to keep their students safe and happy. What steps can be taken? Let us quickly examine a handful of professional suggestions.
Choose When to Schedule Outdoor Activities
It is best to avoid the peak hours of the day when planning an outdoor excursion or a trip to the playground. Depending upon where the nursery school is located, this tends to range from 11 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It is instead better to plan activities during earlier hours or to wait until the sun is lower in the sky.
Stress the Importance of Hydration
One crucial facet of the EYFS learning journey here involves encouraging healthy activities and subsequently providing positive reinforcement (feedback). While often directly applied to learning, this approach is just as relevant in terms of physical health.
Children are obviously more sensitive to the effects of the sun when compared to adults. This is why hydration within nursery school settings is a core concern when the temperatures outside begin to rise. Be sure to provide all students with immediate access to cold water throughout the day or when they happen to be performing physical activities. They could otherwise become ill from exposure to the sun.
Make Child-Friendly Sunscreen Readily Available
Students must likewise be taught about the benefits of applying sunscreen to their faces, arms and legs. Educators can thereafter illustrate how these creams are applied. Having said this, any on-site sunscreen should offer a child-friendly formulation. Harsh chemicals can easily irritate the skin and even cause allergic reactions. Nursery school teachers should also inform parents that this sunscreen is being offered (in the event of any potential medical contraindications). This brings us to the final point.
Speak with Parents About How to Appropriately Dress Their Children
We need to remember that sun safety within nursery settings will also involve the parents themselves. For example, parents should know what type of clothing is best during hot spring and summer days. The same holds true in regard to any packed lunches that may be brought from home. Foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables are preferred over substances that can raise the metabolism of a child (such as sugary treats). Teachers should therefore meet with parents in order to discuss what steps the school is taking to safeguard their children.
Sun safety is a topic which should never be taken for granted within nursery school settings. Children who learn to appreciate the dangers will undoubtedly retain these skills as they begin to grow up.