Children tend to spend more time outside than adults do and their skin is particularly sensitive and burns easily, so they need to be carefully protected whether at home or abroad.
The last thing on children’s minds when the sun is shining is to slap on the sun cream – so it’s up to their parents and carers to be responsible.
There are two types of sunray that can do damage – UVA and UVB. It’s these rays that can cause damage to our skin in the form of sunburn, ageing and other problems. They also increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
How to keep children safe in the sun:
- Keep babies under six months old out of the sun at all times. UV is strongest under a cloudless sky, even if the temperature is low or there’s a cooling wind.
- Keep your child in the shade, but bear in mind that it is possible to get sunburn under light cloud.
- Avoid being in the sun at its hottest (between 11am and 3pm).
- Always apply a high factor sun cream – at least SPF 15, and reapply regularly and after swimming. All children, however dark their skin tone, should use sun protection.
- Keep your child well covered with a t-shirt or loose cotton clothing and sun hat.
- Ensure sun hats and peaked caps cover the back of the neck.
- Sunglasses offer valuable protection against over exposure to UV reflected off water.
- Make sure children get regular drink breaks, preferably water, if they are playing in the sun to avoid dehydration.
- All-in-one sun suits may be a good idea as they offer good protection for shoulders and legs.