sun protection for kids
Sunshine has many benefits. It's a good source of vitamin D (which helps us to absorb calcium), strengthens our bones and protects against illness. However, sun safety for babies and children is especially important. Babies under the age of six months are best kept in the shade, as their skin can’t produce enough melanin to protect them from UV light.
Always use the highest SPF cream you can find. Take extra care if there’s a history of skin cancer in the family. Zinc-based sunscreens work well but sweat and water can wash off even waterproof creams, so make sure to reapply regularly.
Clothes can provide a good degree of UV protection, so cover up your child in loose-fitting outfits. Choose a hat that covers the ears and the back of the neck. The sun is at its hottest between 11am and 3pm – the perfect excuse to indulge in a long, shady lunch.
don’t forget your eyes
Sand and water can intensify the sun's rays, so get your children used to protecting their eyes from an early age. There are many benefits to getting your toddler to wear sunglasses, and they can even help to prevent eye problems in later life. Choose glasses with UVB/UVA protection.
how to deal with sunburn – the do’s
- offer plenty of fluids and use infant paracetamol to help pain
- soothe the area with a wet cloth, or try a tepid bath with pinch of baking soda
- consult your doctor and get help straight away if your child’s skin blisters, or they develop a fever, chills, vomit or lose consciousness
how to deal with sunburn – the don't's
- never pop fluid-filled blisters as this could lead to infection. Let your doctor deal with them
- petroleum-based emollients (e.g. Vaseline) shouldn’t be used on the affected area, as they can trap heat and sweat and make things worse
- burn sprays should be avoided as children can be allergic to them