As a parent, you’re always on guard, and always looking around to make sure that your child is safe. When they’re babies, they’re completely dependent on you, but even as they grow you still like to keep an eye on them. One of the things all children like to do is play outside, and besides doing your best to ensure that their toys and their environment are safe for them to play there, you should think about their skin and sun exposure. We give you a list of simple and effective ways so you can protect your children from the sun.
The dark side
We all know that sun is beneficial for our health and that it helps us increase the levels of vitamin D in our bodies, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks involved. Too much sun is bad for everyone, and young children are especially vulnerable and should be kept out of direct sunlight. Sunburn is painful, and too much sun exposure also increases the risk of children developing skin cancer when they get older. Light breeze and staying in water can cool the skin even when children stay in the sun so they might not even notice the harmful effects of the sun until they are already burned. What is more, there are children who are sunlight sensitive and they can develop a nasty rash when exposed to sunlight.
The right clothes
The simplest way to protect the child from harmful UV lights is to dress them in the right clothes. Any exposed skin can be reached by UV lights, but that doesn’t mean that you should dress them in jackets and shawls during summer. Try to cover as much of their skin as possible with light, loose-fitting clothes that won’t make them too hot and which will allow their skin to breathe. Singlet tops and dresses with straps should usually be topped up with a T-shirt or shirt, and a hat is also a must.
Don’t skip sunscreen
Speaking of things that are a ‘must’, enter sunscreen. The higher the number on the bottle of sunscreen, the better protection it offers to the person wearing it. Anything less than SP30 is usually too weak to protect the skin, but when it comes to children you shouldn’t go under SP50 as it provides the best protection. Sunscreen should be re-applied several times a day (be generous with it), and we suggest you use broad-spectrum, water-resistant one because it can withstand swimming and other forms of water-play. Even if it’s cloudy, ultraviolet rays can reach our skin, so wear sunscreen when you plan to spend time outside and re-apply it every couple of hours.
Protected in the backyard
The easiest ways to protect children from harmful UV lights is to encourage them to play in the shade when they want to play outside. This means playing behind the house, under shade structures or the trees. Even if it’s a cloudy day you should dress them in light, loose clothes, apply sunscreen to their skin, and remind them to stay in the shade. It’s best to play outside either early in the morning (before 10 am) or later in the afternoon (after 4 pm) because the sun isn’t as strong at this time.
In case of sunburn
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try you just can’t protect them; they will eventually be sunburnt. If your child is still a baby, you should consult a doctor, especially if there are blisters, or a rash appears. Calamine lotion is a good way to cool sunburn, as is bathing in tepid (not cold) water for half an hour or an hour. Their skin should be generously hydrated and a pharmacist will help you out by giving advice on different aftersun products.
Even though we would like to be able to protect our children from everything harmful in the world, there just isn’t a way to do it. Luckily, you can protect them from sunburn, ensuring their skin stays healthy and they stay away from harmful sun rays. Sunburn can cause significant discomfort, but you can prevent it by using some of these methods we suggested.