FUN in the SUN

Sam PenmanUncategorized

Recently we removed our three sizeable shade sails that cover the greater portion of our fenced playground to clean and service. They are now back and reinstalled ready to resume their duties of safely protecting our little one’s skins in good time for the summer.
Avoiding over-exposure among children, especially the youngest ones, is something we are very strict about at Scuttlebugs Child Care Center. The outdoor playground is shaded by the sails, and besides, sunscreen is included at ScuttleBugs, and applied each time before the kids can go outside.

On the US Center for Disease Control’s website it states “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States”. No matter where you were born and raised, most of us humans now have an understanding of sun safety to varying degrees. It’s no wonder why sunscreen, hats, UV protective clothing and sunglasses are everyday items for anyone nowadays – and if they’re not, they should be.
Spring works on shade sales caused me to ponder my youth, growing up in Australia – where sun safety is taught practically from birth. All Aussie schools required a hat to be worn outside (back then the motto was “no hat, no play”). After further research I see this is still the case for the majority of educational facilities down under, from daycare through high school. A big part of why my native land is so popular with everyone has to do with the amount of glorious sunshine and being able to enjoy the outdoors year round (sound familiar Bay Area?).

That being said, we are deadly aware of the risks of increased exposure to harmful UV rays. Especially in light (no pun intended) of copping it from both ends: northern Oz is close to the equatorial tropics and the south to the ozone hole.
According to the Cancer Council of Australia, “Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, …”
This organization is responsible for numerous educational campaigns, most notably embedded in my childhood memories is “Slip, Slop, Slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat”!
I too bear the battle scars from a couple of moles that were best to part ways with – thankfully, benign. In fact, I seem to recall that annual skin checks were free. Australia is now showing clear statistical evidence that skin cancer rates among different age groups is falling. This is attributed to our national effort to enjoy the sun, but safely. Of course skin cancer can often (usually?) take decades to appear. So these statistics showing an improvement even among the 34-45 age group – the ones who were the first to have grown up as the campaign started – is significant.

And when it rains….

One of our childcare center’s unique and best features is our indoor gym. This is a padded and turfed area where our babies (whose skin can be too sensitive/delicate for the elements or even sunscreen), typically enjoy gross motor play. We can even raise the doors to see through to the playground and beyond. Each small group can experience the fresh air and seasonal elements in a comfortable protected environment …….YEAR ROUND!

Want to know how the sun sees us?

Watch this!