Whether you are enjoying the sun in the UK or you are lucky enough to have a holiday booked abroad, as a parent, you need to know how best to protect your child’s skin.
Sun damage that occurs during childhood has a long-term effect on your child’s health, with even minor sunburn increasing their risk of skin cancer in the future.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to protect your child from the harmful rays of the sun. Simply follow the below guide, and your child can enjoy the warmer weather safely and without the worry of sunburn.
Apply sufficient sunscreen
Children should wear sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30, preferably 50. You need to look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The former causes tanning and ageing skin, whereas the latter can lead to sunburn and skin cancer. This vegan sunscreen for toddlers from Toddle Born Wild is ideal for kids with sensitive skin as it contains all natural ingredients, and it offers maximum protection against both types of rays.
Sunscreen should be reapplied once every three hours or after your child has been swimming for a prolonged time. Do not rely on waterproof sunscreens, as these tend to be only water resistant, so you still need to reapply.
Seek shade at the hottest time of day
Between the hours of 10am and 4pm, you should aim to avoid the sun and seek shade where possible. Although this can be difficult if you have children who want to be out playing in the pool, try to schedule lunch, a nap or another fun activity during these hours and make sure to make the most of the morning and early evening in the sun.
If you can’t avoid these times for any reason, make sure that your child is wearing the maximum SPF, is wearing a hat, and, preferably, they should be dressed in UV protective clothing.
Parents often forget about protecting their children’s eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, but this is an essential step in sun safety. UV rays can increase your child’s likelihood of developing cataracts when they are older, so you need to ensure they are wearing sunglasses at all times.
You can find sunglasses for kids that wrap around and block close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Know the signs of heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly, so it is important that you look out for the most commons signs of this condition. These include dizziness, nausea, weakness, headache and/or stomach cramps.
If you suspect that your child has heat exhaustion or heat stroke, bring them into the shade immediately, remove excess clothing, lie them down and cool their skin with a damp cloth.
Keep your child hydrated
When in the sun, it is important that you offer your child more fluids than you normally would. Even if they say they are not thirsty, you need to make sure that they are regularly stopping to hydrate. It can also be a good idea to offer snacks with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber and tomatoes, rather than high salt foods such as crisps.