Three Ideas to Help keep My Sensory Kids Safe in the Sun

Ann Hickman by Ann Hickman Additional Needs

Ann Hickman

Ann Hickman

Mum to three, special educational needs writer and part-time tutor

Many kids with autism have challenges with their sensory system.

Their brains are wired a bit differently and this means they interpret the world around them differently too.

Create Shade

This challenge with processing their senses, means my kids don’t like wearing some fabrics or some styles of clothing.

Straps on dresses can be very uncomfortable, hats and sunglasses are not acceptable for some of my kids either.

So along with looking for shade and thinking about this when we go places, we often take a little play pop-up tent to make shade.

We also use a parasol when walking about - it might look a bit strange but I think it feels very Jane Austin.

Sun Screen that Works for Them

Some children will enjoy smearing sun cream on, it’s part of the fun.

This isn’t the case for my kids and we always need to use a mist style spray that gentle covers the skin without too much rubbing that’s 50SPF.

If your kids love playing in water then you’ll want to look for a waterproof one.

Water resistant sun screen will need to be reapplied so we know when the kids get wet we’ll have to re spray them.

Keeping Them Cool

It’s not just the actual UV rays we need to worry about with the kids.

Along with potentially not being able to cope with the feeling of certain fabrics, our kids have difficulty interpreting temperature.

Our eldest, Anthony is temperature sensitive and his younger brother, David, is under-sensitive to temperature.

This means in the sun that I have one kid who doesn’t like getting too hot, and the other than doesn’t notice.

So, both need to be kept cool!

We try to keep them out of the heat in the hottest part of the day, have plenty of cool (but not too cold for Anthony) and iced water available and encourage drinking it with all meals and snacks.

We use frozen fruit and ice lollies for snacks when we can.

We will put cool pads or fill hot water bottle with cold water and put them inside cushions to sit on.

As with many things in our life – it’s all just about working around our kids so they can enjoy it.


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