Skin safety for children
11 Jun 2012
Sun damaged skin is unpleasant for adults, but for a child, sunburn and other skin conditions caused by sun exposure can be very painful and upsetting. Keeping your child safe from sunburn and more hidden forms of sun damage is an important responsibility. Up to 80% of a person's lifetime exposure to the sun will take place before they are aged 18! Add that to the fact that a child's skin has not yet developed all the natural defence mechanisms of adult skin and it's clear why minimizing the harmful effects of childhood sun exposure is so important.
Teach Your Children
Teaching your children about sun safety from an early age has many benefits. When they are out of your sight they will be more likely to take the proper precautions and as they grow into adults they will already know how and why to protect their skin from the sun. Explain to your child why you are performing each step in the sun skin care routine and let them do any parts that they are able to handle themselves.
Seek Out Shade
10am - 3pm are the times of day when the sun's rays are most dangerous. This applies both in summer and winter! When going on outdoor activities, make sure that your child has both sunscreen and access to shade, especially during these hours.
Select clothing that has collars, sleeves and long skirts or trousers. Darker clothing better reflects the UV rays that cause skin damage. A hat is, of course, essential and those with wide brims are most suitable. If you are concerned about the heat choose loose clothing so that the air can circulate and keep your child cool.
Look for a sun screen that has an SPF of higher than 30, is labelled 'broad spectrum' and is waterproof. Always test a new sun screen on a small area of your child's skin first, to see if they have a reaction to it.