Summer Vacation — How to Protect Kids’ Skin in the Pool

It’s summer vacation. The sun’s out and your kids are having the time of their lives in the pool. However, too much sun may be harmful to your kids’ skin. Serious sunburns when they are young can drastically increase the risk of skin cancer, or melanoma, as they grow up. Melanoma is a malignant tumour- so make sure to protect your kids’ skin from the sun’s UV rays as much as possible. They might be upset with you now, but they will thank you in the future.
UV radiation is invisible to the eye and is made up of three types of wavelengths — UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC gets absorbed but he ozone layer, so we only need to protect ourselves from the UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the most common form of UV radiation, and penetrate the skin deeper than UVB. UVA is mostly associated with tanning. UVB, on the other hand, damages the surface of the skin and is linked with reddening of the skin and sunburn. Both damage the skin’s cellular DNA, causing premature skin aging, eye damage, skin cancers, and even suppressing the immune system. So, always check the UV index before you head out. The higher the UV index number, the more intense the UV rays will be, thus the more damage they will cause on the skin.
As much as your kids love the sun, they don’t have to be under it every single minute. Especially around noon, when UV rays are the strongest, it’s best to let your kids stay indoors. Staying under the shade helps too, but be careful of natural shading as it sometimes doesn’t shield you from UV rays. For example, you stand underneath a tree for a long time, the scattered light through the leaves and branches may also lead to sunburn. It’s best to avoid peak-sun hours —10am to 4pm. All you have to do is wake up a little earlier in the morning or have fun later in the afternoon, and there will be much less damage on your kids’ skin.
It’s hard to avoid sun forever. So when your kids are out and about, always apply sunscreen. Apply 15-30 minutes before they go outside to leave time for their skin to absorb the sunscreen. Reapply it every 2 hours, and if your kids are swimming, reapply sunscreen every time they get out from the pool. Using a sunscreen with a higher SPF is not the most important thing. Reapplying often will best protect your kids’ skin! Longer sleeves and long pants also act as a form of protection. Wet and darker coloured ones work better than dry and lighter coloured ones. For babies under six months old, they should be kept away from direct sunlight since their skin is very delicate.
Try to keep your children away from constant, direct sun exposure. When they are under the sun, applying sunscreen only takes 5 minutes, so don’t be lazy and lessen the occurrence of skin cancer for your kids. If you’re interested in canopies or other forms of shading for your backyard pool, feel free to contact Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs. Book an appointment today by calling 905-294-8030 or by sending us an email at

Leave a Comment