Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sun safety for kids this summer on the South-West’s beaches

The South-West is a beach lover’s paradise with an entire coastline of idyllic spots to take the family swimming, surfing, boating or just relaxing.

But with summer fun comes the need to vigilant in the hot Australian sun, especially with young ones who are more susceptible to overheating and sunburn.

So, as you pack up your bag and head off to the beach, here’s how you can be “sun smart” and keep yourself and your kids safe.

Sun safety

  • Hats and protective clothing are essential for all babies and children. A long-sleeved rashie and bucket hat – both with a UPF50+ sun protection rating – will give good coverage. Sunglasses are also a good investment for older beach babies onwards
  • Wear an SPF 50+ sunscreen at all times when in the sun
  • Keep up your fluids in hot weather. Babies should be offered extra feeds on hot days, while older children should be offered water frequently
  • Invest in a beach tent or good beach umbrella for instant shade
  • Make sure your child’s pram is well-ventilated
  • Never leave a child in a parked car. And keep your car cool with air conditioning or plenty of fresh air circulating.

For more tips about sun safety and hot weather, visit parenting support service Ngala.

Sunscreen that feels good

Wearing sunscreen is essential in Australia, but when it comes to picking a sunscreen for your little ones the choice can be overwhelming!

With reports over the years of bad reactions to some products supposedly formulated for delicate skin, it has understandably left many parents anxious about what sunscreen is best for their children.

Dr Scott Mcgregor, a skin cancer specialist and co-founder of Dunsborough sunscreen brand We Are Feel Good Inc., said covering up is first and foremost in sun safety, particularly for little ones, but if sun exposure can’t be avoided then their SPF 50+ sensitive formula should be used as directed.

Dr McGregor said by removing any chemicals that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment – We Are Feel Good Inc. sunscreens are preservative, PABA and paraben free and are also free of reef-harming UV filters oxybenzone and octinoxate – they have removed the number one cause of reactions to sunscreens.

Dr McGregor said parents have a responsibility to ensure hats, sunglasses and protective clothing become a habit from early on.

“Make wearing sunscreen on exposed skin a non-negotiable habit for all outdoor activities – winter and summer,” he said. “We are not just preventing future skin cancer, but also premature skin ageing. They will thank you later!”

The best South-West beaches for kids

While the list of beaches along the South-West coast is endless, some are a bit more suited for young families.

  • Meelup Beach, Dunsborough

Calm, turquoise waters and shaded grassy areas for picnics. Patrolled by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) until February 3.

  • Bunker Bay

A tranquil beach, but it’s best to bring your own beach umbrella or beach tent for guaranteed shade. Patrolled by SLSWA until February 3.

  • Eagle Bay

Calm waters for little ones, but it’s best to bring your own beach umbrella or beach tent.

  • Castle Rock Bay, Dunsborough

Sheltered from westerly to southerly winds, this secluded bay is normally calm, so perfect for kids. 

  • Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp

A family favourite for its calm waters, swimming enclosure and pontoon (in the summer months) and picnic areas + playground for youngsters.

  • Quindalup Foreshore

Situated between Busselton and Dunsborough, this sheltered beach is perfect for little ones. There’s also a boat ramp. 

  • Busselton Foreshore

New shelters, seating and playground, and an upgraded promenade are among the features of this picturesque spot overlooking Geographe Bay.

  • Falcon Bay, Mandurah

Sheltered beach protected from the sea-breeze all day. Shower and toilet facilities available. Coffee shop and Fish & Chips at the back of the beach.

  • Emu Point, Albany

A tiered grassy area and playground are a bonus for families looking for a quiet, sheltered beach on the southern coast.

Private Properties has an extensive selection of holiday accommodations perfect for families. To start planning your next holiday in the South-West, view our portfolio here or call our friendly bookings consultants for their recommendations (08) 9750 5444.

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