Do you know that serious burns during childhood increase the risk of skin cancer later in life? Hence, we need to protect our kids from the sun and its damaging effects on the skin as early as possible – from day 1! While getting a dose of sunshine early in the morning is good both for children and adult, too much sun exposure especially when the sun is at its brightest, can cause not only red, sensitive and old skin, but also more serious conditions such as the dreaded big C.
Stick to these simple but effective ways to protect your kids and the whole family:
- Make smart clothing choices. When going out in the sun, cover as much skin as you can by choosing long sleeve tops and long pants made of light ad cool materials such as cotton and linen. Go for darker colours that offer more protection than light ones. Protective clothing is your number one defense against the sun!
- Use sunblock, at least SPF30 with UVB and UVA (broad spectrum) AND apply it properly. Don’t skimp and use generous or recommended amount of product to ensure that you get enough protection. Look for active ingredients such as titanium and zinc oxide which are proven effective and safe in providing a skin barrier against the sun’s rays. You can opt for more natural or organic products, but sunblock made from titanium and zinc oxide are proven to work best. Put special attention to body areas that are more exposed such as face, nape, neck, ears and shoulders. Very importantly, apply 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours. Use waterproof sun blocks if you’re swimming, or sweating heavily too.
- Seek shade especially between 10:00am and 4:00pm when the sun shines the strongest. Encourage your kids to play indoors during this time. If you must absolutely go out, let’s say during a beach holiday, bring all the essentials such as sun block, sunnies and beach umbrellas to reduce exposure.
- It’s all about the accessories. There’s plenty of fashionable clothing accessories that double as sun protection. Wide brim hats, dark sun glasses (make sure it has UV protection) and scarves and shawls will all provide necessary cover for protection. If your kids love baseball caps instead of hats, make sure to apply sunblock on his nape and ears too.
- Check medications and its side effects. Some simple medicines can make your kids more sensitive to the sun, so it double the risk of getting sun burns and other skin irritations. If your kids are on any medication, make sure to ask your pediatrician about this possibility and other side effects too. Remember, it’s better to be more vigilant when it comes to our little ones!
After following all these steps and you still find your kids sun burnt, be prepared to treat them. Aloe juice will naturally soothe skin. There are also various after-sun care products and cooling gels that you can easily purchase from the pharmacy so make sure to keep one in your holiday kit and in your medicine cabinet. It’s also important to rehydrate the skin outside and from within. Make your kids drink plenty of water and natural juices, and slather hypoallergenic moisturizers while skin is damp. For more natural sunburn cares that you might actually find in your kitchen, click HERE.
If your kid’s skin does not improve in 2-3 days, and you notice swelling and inflammation, it’s best to bring them to the doctor for further checks and proper medication. Remember not to self-medicate, don’t take chances and leave it to the experts.