Sun Safety on the Beach

Sun Safety is an important part of kids health. Sadly I’ve seen children admitted to hospital with sun burn. If you look after your children in the sun you can significantly decrease their risk of skin cancer later on in life. We all love the summer, so let’s have heaps of fun whilst remembering our sun safety.

Sun Safety for Children by a pediatrician

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Summer in Spain

Summer in Spain is long and hot. When I say hot, I mean hot, that sweaty, sticky, exhausting hot that makes you want to climb into the freezer for half an hour. Except we don’t all fit in the freezer.

Instead, we hot leg it to the beach. We all pile into the car. It’s like an oven. You can hardly touch the steering wheel. We’re all melting.

We arrive at the beach, a sprawling mass of arms and legs. An octopus on holiday. The sand is too hot to touch but there’s normally a sea breeze that offers a little comfort.

Eventually we’re all ready to plunge in the cool, salty, crystal clear water. Arrh! You can hear the sizzle as the hot pan is plunged into a bowl of cold water. Instant relief. Heads go under hot and bothered and come up cool and refreshed. The beach is a fabulous place to cool down in the summer.

Sun Safety at the Beach

That cool breeze and refreshing water can mask the fact that the sun is glaring down and actually doing more harm than good. It’s not just sun burn that you have to worry about, or heat exhaustion. The sun can damage your skin even if you don’t get burnt and for your children that means a life time of increased risk of skin cancer.


Use a high factor water proof sun screen and re-apply frequently.

I use Nivea children's factor 50 for everyone (much cheaper if you order it from amazon...UK, or in the US.) In fact we get through bottles and bottles of it each summer.

It’s a good idea to put it on before you leave the house. It’s cooler, you don’t get covered in sand and it allows time to soak in.


A broad rimmed SPF hat

Keep the sun off your face and back of your neck.


100% UV filter

Check the stamp to make sure they’re 100% UV filter so that those harmful rays don’t damage the inside of your children’s eyes.

Sun filter Swim Suits

There are tonnes of fantastic swim suits with all your kids favourite characters, pirates, Thomas the tank engine, spiderman. Look for the SPF (sun protection factor) to make sure they protect you from the sun. Long arms and legs are the best. They're great because they dry really easily but cover kid's skin. (We have adult t-shirt style ones too.)


Natural shade or bring your own. Either an SPF parasol or tent. 

I love this tent, it's what we used when the children were babies. Infant PlayShade on amazon UK and USA

Now our children are a bit older, we use an SPF parasol, much like this one on amazon UK or amazon USA.

Avoid High Sun

During the middle of the day, between 12 and 3 in the afternoon, the sun is directly over head and at it’s hottest. (In Spain it’s between 2 and 4 pm due to our funny time zone.)

Watch the Time

Don’t stay out in the heat for hours on end.


Drink lots of water. We put some of our bottles of water in the freezer the night before so that on the way home we still have lovely cold water. Frozen fruit ice lollies are another great way to cool down AND keep your fluid levels up.

Remember your sun safety and you can have a great time all summer long.

Sun Safety for Children by a pediatrician