How can parents teach their kids to be sun smart? 

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world?

Not everyone realises that sun exposure in the first 10 years of life plays a large part in determining your lifetime potential for skin cancer.

Richelle Ellis is the head behind the sun-hat company, Bedhead Hats. Richelle shares her tips below to help parents instill sun safety habits in children at a young age.

****

 

While the onset of warm summer months brings excitement to many of our little ones, it also strikes fear into the hearts of many parents. It’s the dreaded ‘H’ word and all the tantrums and arguments that can go with it. “No hat, no play. Well you’ll just have to stay inside then. I’ve told you, you have to wear your hat”.  These well repeated mantras become more tiresome frustrations for us parents, than actual behaviour changing enlightenments for our children.

Changing a child’s behaviour isn’t an overnight process. Wearing a hat is a learned skill, much like learning to walk or toilet training. However, the child can often see no benefit in wearing a hat, so it can make the exercise a little more challenging.

Don’t be dismayed though. There are plenty of practical techniques and crafty tricks that you can use for children of all ages to entice them into the world of sun safety. These are tried and tested, by many happy parents that can now breathe a huge sigh of relief!  

START EARLY! The best time to teach a child to wear a hat is before they start developing fine motor skills. Familiarising baby with the sensation of wearing a hat is the key to raising a child that searches for their hat to wear before going outdoors. Once they can control those little hands; anything new is most certainly getting ripped off! And really – who wants to argue with a toddler? 

KEEP IT HAPPY Be careful with the ‘H’ word. At some point, we have all been guilty of screaming “put your hat back on!” Children pick up on this and can start to think of ‘hat’ with a negative connotation. Try using descriptive words like “Let’s wear your red bucket hat today”.  A positive spin can work wonders.

YOU'RE SO VAIN Play on vanity! Children love admiring themselves in mirrors and hearing how fabulous they are. Use it to your advantage! Take the time to show them their outfit in the mirror & explain how the hat would “just complete their look!” Add an accessory or trim to the hat so it a personal item to your child.

MASTER OF DISTRACTION If you have a defiant toddler, you really need to figure out what it is they LOVE. Food is a great place to start. They can wear their hat at dinner time & will forget that it’s even there. Also try their favourite toys or maybe even a movie.

All Bedhead Hats have a UPF 50+ Excellent Protection rating, are made with a resilient stretch cotton that grows with the child, brims stay firm out of the child’s eyeline and made suit the hot Australian climate.

Bedhead Hats are pram and baby carrier friendly; soft around the neck, while providing sun and glare protection. RRP $26.95 - $34.95.

For each order placed online at www.bedheadhats.com.au, a newborn hat will be gifted or donated. Customers have the choice to gift the hat to someone they know in need or donate to charity aiding disadvantaged mothers and babies.

To be a part of the ‘Protect the Potential’ community drive visit bedheadhats.com.au, purchase any product and select ‘GIFT’ or ‘DONATE’ at the cart screen to pass one on to a child in need.