When children are exposed to the sun it is important to keep them protected. Whilst some exposure is essential to make vitamin D, too much unprotected sun exposure can cause a range of problems such as; skin damage, eye damage, painful sunburn, immune system suppression, and skin cancer. Here are some of the steps that you should take to ensure your child is safe in the sun.
Exposed parts of your child’s skin should covered with suncream, even if the day seems overcast. Be sure to be thorough and apply everywhere you can see. The SPF should be 15 or above and needs to be reapplied throughout the day- waterproof sunscreen is preferable if your child is in and out of water but remember to reapply it- it doesn’t last forever.
Giving your child periodic breaks out of the sun is extremely important, especially when the sun is at its strongest from 11am-3pm. Often it is safer to take your children completely out of the sun during these periods of time. Babies under the age of six months should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Choosing loose cotton clothing can help keeping your child both covered and cool. Hats with wide brims are effective at protecting your child’s face and neck as well as keeping them cool.
If your child does get sunburnt it can be extremely painful for them and you should deal with it as quickly and effectively as possible. Here are some ways to alleviate the pain or encourage it to heal
- Give them a cool bath or apply a cool compress
- Apply cooling aloe-vera gel
- Moisturise them to rehydrate the skin
- Give them an anti-inflammatory to ease the pain or itching
What are your tips for keeping your child safe in the sun? Do you prefer to keep them in the shade altogether? How do you keep them cool in the summer? Join or start the conversation below.