Top tips to protect your children from the sun!
Young skin is delicate and very easily damaged by the sun. All children, no matter whether they tan easily or not, should be protected from the sun.
Children with fair or red hair, pale eyes or freckles are most at risk. Keep babies under six months out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
1. Use shade
Keep babies in complete shade: under trees, umbrellas, canopies or indoors. Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
2. Know the shadow rule
If your shadow is longer than you are, then you are safe from the sun. When your shadow is shorter than you are tall, the sun can burn you.
3. Cover them up
Dress children in cotton clothing that is baggy, close-weave and cool. Oversized t-shirts are good for covering most of their skin. Remember that wet clothing stretches and can lose up to half of its UV protection so put children in dry clothing after playing in water.
4. Drink plenty of water
It is important to keep children hydrated on a regular basis. If you’re going out for the day make sure you carry a filled water bottle with you.
5. Protect shoulders and necks
Don’t put children in vest tops or sundresses if they are spending a lot of time outdoors – shoulders and backs of necks get easily burned.
6. Wear sunglasses
Buy good quality, wraparound sunglasses for children, as soon as they can wear them. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive brands, but toy sunglasses can do more harm than good.
7. Wear a hat
Encourage children to wear hats with brims, especially if they are not wearing sunglasses. The wider the brim, the more skin will be shaded from the sun.
8. Use sunscreen wisely
The NHS recommends that you apply at least factor 15 sunscreen with at least four-star UVA protection before children go outdoors. Then reapply often to be sure of good coverage. Don’t forget shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks and tops of feet.
9. Remember sunscreen washes off
Always use waterproof sunscreen of at least factor 15* when children are swimming or playing outdoors with water. Reapply after towelling.
10. Remember – you can burn in the UK
The great British sun may be unpredictable but it is quite capable of burning you and your child! Take extra care and use sunscreen at home as well as abroad, even on cloudy days.