If you’re planning a sun filled holiday, or you’re simply just hoping that the sun will show its face at some point this summer, it is imperative to be sun safe. Children who get sunburned in childhood or adolescence are at an increased risk of melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) in later life. Take precautions protect your children now and into in the future.
Here are 10 of our top sun safety tips:
Babies up to 6 months ideally should not be exposed to direct sunlight as they have much thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin. Cover their arms and legs with clothing while out and about. Use mesh screens on car windows.
The best time to take young children outside is before 10 am and after 4 pm when the sun is not as intense. Ensure they wear wide-brimmed hats, and consider investing in a parasol or a special cover for the buggy. Some newer designs, such as the Uppababy Vista, will already have a special UV protection cover installed in the hood of the pram.
Young, sensitive skin is especially vulnerable to damaging UV rays. Use a broad-spectrum sun cream that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, making sure to cover all exposed areas.
Experts recommend an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 for children, but the higher the SPF, the better. Most sun protection for children has SPF 50.
Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside. It’s worth doing a patch test to check if your child is allergic to a particular cream.
Generously re-apply sun protection every 2 hours.
When using a spray suncream, do not spray directly onto the your child’s face. Instead, use your hands for thorough application.
Take care in cloudy weather – up to 90% of UV rays can pass through light cloud. Be familiar with the UV index, which measures the risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. This can be checked on most weather apps.
If your children are in someone else’s care, make sure you send sun cream with them and ask that their carer re-applies at regular intervals.
Children learn from example, so let them see you apply sun cream to your own skin too!
Protect the delicate skin of your precious little ones now and instil lifelong sun safety skills that they will carry with them into adulthood.