Suncare for Children

We all look forward to vacations and summertime fun. But the sun’s rays can cause irreparable damage to our children’s skin. Here are EIGHT TIPS to ensure your child’s protection from the sun.

1) Keep your little ones out of the sun between the peak hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

2) It’s not always possible to stay out of the sun, so it’s wise to use wide-brimmed sun hats and to wear light-colored clothing. A closely woven material will shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Comfortable long shirts and long pants that cover most of the body is recommended.

3) Wear proper sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.

4) Children over the age of 6 months can wear sunscreen. Apply a broad-spectrum, minimum SPF15 (see below) sunscreen to ALL exposed areas of skin. To be effective, apply 20 minutes before going out and reapply 20 after being exposed to the sun. Don’t forget to apply to lips, ears and nose as these burn easily.

5) Be aware that reflective light from sand and water double the dosage of UV radiation.

6) It’s a cloudy day? Kids can still get a sunburn. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds and fog.

7) Always provide a sun-safe play area under shady spot , trees , gazebo, etc.

8) Sun protection is a habit. Model the habit and be a good example.

Suncare for Babies

Baby’s skin is delicate and very sensitive. Their outer layer of skin is thinner and can be easily injured by the sun. They are not born with a developed skin protection system and can burn more easily. Even when the parents have dark skin, baby still requires maximum protection.

Also, keep in mind that a baby can’t tel you when it’s too hot or the sun is too bright. A crying baby. Too much sun can be extremely harmful. Babies have more skin, relative to their body mass than an adult so sunburns can be more serious.

NEVER use baby oil on children when in the sun.

Babies under one year should not be in direct sunlight. Covered strollers, umbrellas or shade are recommended. This will prevent sunstroke and dehydration. It is recommended to not use sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age.

What is SPF?

The SPF or Sun Protection Factor refers to the protection offered against the sun’s ultraviolet Brays that are known to cause sunburns and skin cancer. The SPF relates to the time it would take for your skin to burn when wearing a sunscreen compared to the time it would take for your skin to burn without any protection. For example, in theory you could stay out in the sun 15 times longer without burning your skin if you used a SPF15 sunscreen. In practice, people don’t use enough sunscreen and oftentimes forget to reapply it therefore reducing its effectiveness.

Shadow Test for Kids

It’s important to stay in the shade when the sun is directly overhead as its rays are strongest. Children may not be able to tell the time. So, help your little ones determine when it’s time to get out of the sun by teaching them this easy Shadow Test: If a person’s shadow is shorter than your child’s shadow, then it is time to get under the shade. When a person’s shadow is longer that your child’s shadow, then it’s ok to go out and play.