BEING A SUN SAFE FAMILY
When your family is preparing for an outdoor activity, take the time to talk about
what you’re going to need for a sunny day, whether the activity is a few blocks
away, a trip to the beach or mountains, or an adventure at Six Flags. Near or far,
when you go out as a family, what do you have ready to go and what should you
think about bringing along? Here are a few things to consider before you head
out the door:
• HAVE A SUN SAFE HOME
Before anything else, make sure that your home is sun safe. Do a quick
inventory to see that everyone has access to sun safe items like: sunscreen with
an SPF of 15 or greater, sunscreen lip balm, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, sun
umbrellas, and cover-up clothes.
Try finding a central location for these things so that you’re always ready to head
out the door!
• GET TOGETHER AS A FAMILY!
When your home is ready to go and everyone knows where to look for sun safe
items, you can have the whole family help gather the things you need to take
with you. ach family member can be in charge of a particular sun safe item. For
instance, someone can be in charge of sunscreen, someone else can be in
charge of hats, and so on. In addition to having sun safe items easily accessible
at home, think about other places they would come in handy. For example,
keeping sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats in the car or in a bag that you always
take with you is an easy way to have them on hand whenever you need them,
no matter where you are.
• ROLE MODELING GOOD SUN BEHAVIOR
Letting your child see you in action is one of the best ways to help him or her
learn sun safe behaviors. Your child will look to you for cues, so if you sit in the
shade, maybe she will, too. If you wear a hat, maybe he’ll think it’s cool, too.
You get the idea. Avoid sunbathing or visiting a tanning salon since this sends
your child a mixed message!
• TALK ABOUT THE ACTIVITY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY PLAN TO DO
Talking with your family about the activity you want to do is a good first step in
determining what you’ll need to prepare. Let’s say that your family wants to go
to a baseball game. First, you could discuss when your family can all go to the
game (afternoon or evening). If you decide upon a game that is in the early
afternoon, you can talk about choosing seats that are in the shade and keeping
track of what you’ll need to remember to bring, like your sun safe bag full of
sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
• THINK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT!
What does your environment have to offer in terms of sun safety? If you will be
someplace during peak sun hours, are there shade structures such as overhangs
or trees? Plus, how can you effect change in your environment? This could be as
simple as bringing a sun umbrella to the pool or writing a letter in support of
additional shade structures in your neighborhood park!
• ENCOURAGE SUN SAFE BEHAVIORS
Finally, recognizing and rewarding good sun safe behavior is key to encouraging
continual sun safety.
Remember, Shape Up with some Shade, Stay Cool and Cover up, and Slather on