Staying safe in the Sun – best ways to protect children
Protecting your children now will safeguard their skin for the future. Here’s how you can keep your kids safe in the Sun.
For the majority of kids, getting sun lotion on them is like trying to get a dog in the bath – there’s a lot of wriggling, running around and most of it ends up on you rather than them. But making sure they stay safe in the sun is essential to ensure they and their skin stay healthy. “Too much UV could result in painful burns and may also increase their risk of skin cancer in later life,” says Clare O’Connor, sun care scientific adviser at Boots UK.
Clare O’Connor recommends choosing a sunscreen that has an SPF 30 or higher to prevent sunburn and deeper long-term damage “and one with a 5* UVA rating to make sure your kids are getting the highest protection possible against both UVA and UVB rays.”
Whether the children are just playing in the garden at home or diving into the villa pool, there are a variety of sun creams to choose from, whatever they get up to.
There are hypoallergenic options for sensitive skins, one-use lotions for which one application will suffice for eight hours (just make sure you reapply after swimming or towelling), and extra water-resistant lotions for water babies that can keep your kids safe for up to three hours while they splash about.
Applying lotion to children can be tricky but it does not need to be a struggle – it is actually easy to make sun care fun and fuss-free. “Make application an exciting game,” says Clare O’Connor.
Boost your protection
Correct application is also key to ensure your child is getting the SPF protection stated on the bottle. “Apply generously from head to toe – don’t forget the tops of feet, ears and eyelids – 15 minutes before going outside,” says Clare O’Connor. “Reapply every one to two hours and always after swimming and towel-drying.”
Choosing a high-factor sun lotion with 5* UVA protection is not the only way you can keep your child safe in the sun. Ms O’Connor suggests putting a wide-brimmed hat with a neck protector at the back on their heads and UV-protected sunglasses over their eyes. Many pharmacies stock children’s sunglasses that sit close to the face to let fewer damaging rays through.
She also recommends buying a few fun sun suits. “Like a wetsuit, they cover the body and tops of their arms and legs and have a UV 50 protection factor,” says Clare O’Connor. “Apply sun cream under the suit and when you reapply you just need to focus on the lower half of their limbs.”
“With proven links between childhood sunburn and increased risk of melanoma [a serious skin cancer], we know that sun safety for children is incredibly important.”
Source: Telegraph online