Updated 14 April 2014

Teach your kids about the sun's power

Youngsters generally love to be outside in the sun, but teaching them to be aware of its power can seem difficult because sunburn can seem like an abstract concept.


Kids just love learning new and interesting facts, especially when they're accompanied by demonstrations (think show and tell).

So, the next time you have to convey to your kids the dangers of the sun, or the benefits of sun protection, you may want to do a presentation for them.

And, in case you're stumped for ideas, we've come up with a few ways you can get the little ones to pay attention to what you have to teach them about sun care:

Black vs. white
On the morning of a hot day, place several ice blocks on a piece of dark paper and several more on a piece of white paper. Those on the dark paper will melt first, while the white paper will reflect the light, keeping the blocks cold for longer.

This will help teach youngsters why they should put zinc oxide ointment on their noses.

The apple experiment
The second experiment takes a little more effort. In the morning, slice an apple into rings of equal thickness and hang half the rings up with pieces of string, in direct sunlight. Hang the other half up inside.

That night, observe the difference between the two sets of apple rings.

Explain that the sun is just as good at drying out the skin as it is at drying out apple slices. Remind them of the apple rings when it’s time for them to put on moisturiser after being in the sun.

Daily UV indexes
The third project involves the use of the media. Teach your child to keep track of the daily UV indexes in the weather section of your local paper. They can plot the fluctuating UV levels on a graph.

(Health24, updated March 2009)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.