Summer Camp Sun Safety Tips

Published on: April 21, 2021

Updated July 2023

One of the benefits to camp is that guests get fresh air all day. Instead of being home watching TV or playing video games, guests at Muskoka Woods are swimming, water skiing, playing beach volleyball and connecting with nature. And, while this means they are getting lots of heart-healthy physical activity, it also means they have to be extra careful about being in the sun.

To ensure your child practices the best sun safety this summer at camp, here are some tips to share:

Drink water all day

Sometimes we can forget to rehydrate when we’re having so much fun at camp, but even cloudy days can cause dehydration and heatstroke. Pack a refillable water bottle in your child’s camp gear so they can have it on hand with them at all times. In our household, we love the Yeti bottles because they’re great at keeping water cold, even if left out in the sun, but any refillable water bottle will do.

Apply sunscreen often

This is a no-brainer when it comes to sun safety, but what some kids might not realize is that a little dab’ll not do ya. Sunscreen (look for an SPF of at least 30) needs to be applied and reapplied throughout the day as it can wear off through sweating, swimming and daily activity. And, although you can buy sweat-resistant and water-resistant sunscreen, it still needs to be reapplied. Health Canada suggests sunscreen be applied at least 15 minutes before going outside and at least every two hours while you’re outside.  Spray-on sunscreen is best for good coverage and ease of application.

Wear UV protective swimwear

Anyone who spends a lot of time in the water can tell you it’s easy to get burned while cooling off in lakes and pools. Wearing a swimsuit with a UPF (ultraviolet protective factor) rating can help block some of the sun’s rays from reaching your body. Look for a UPF rating of 50 or higher to block approximately 98 per cent of the sun’s rays.

Protect your peepers

The sun’s rays can damage our eyes and the sensitive skin that surrounds them, so wearing sunglasses is a must while outside all day. Health Canada suggests buying sunglasses that are close-fitting to help prevent stray light from entering through the sides. Bonus points if you choose a pair that look super cool.

Wear a hat

Don’t assume your child’s hair (even though thick and luxurious) will protect their head against sunburn. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends wearing wide-brimmed hats as they will help cover the neck, head, face and ears better than a baseball cap. Good thing bucket hats are back in style!

Get made in the shade

Lastly, remind your child it’s okay to take breaks and to look for a shady tree or area to seek some solace from the sun. This timeout from the sun’s rays can be all you need to rest and rejuvenate before you’re ready to get back out there for more summer fun!

About the Author

Rachel Naud lives in Toronto with her husband, 16-year-old son and Old English Sheepdog, Stanley. When she's not busy with the three boys in her life, she is also the founder and editor of INBETWEEN magazine, a digital magazine geared to parents of teens. Rachel can often be seen on morning shows across the country, talking about trends and products relevant to that demographic. She has appeared on The Morning Show, Breakfast TV, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Ottawa and more. In addition, Rachel is also the coordinator of the Lifestyle Media program at Centennial College in Toronto, where she also teaches students a variety of subjects in Lifestyle Media. To unwind, Rachel loves to cook while mostly blasting The Chicks.

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