Children's skin is thinner and more sensitive than adult skin, making them more susceptible to damage from the sun's harmful UV rays. Early exposure to the harmful rays of the sun increases our children’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life, as a result of cumulative sun exposure during childhood. Children can also suffer from heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which can be caused by spending too much time in the sun without proper protection.
By protecting children from the sun, parents and caregivers can help reduce their risk of skin damage and skin cancer, and help them maintain healthy skin for life. This can be achieved by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and limiting sun exposure, especially during peak hours.
You can reduce the risk of skin cancer in children by following these steps:
- Protect their skin from the sun: Dress your children in protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and make sure to reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.
- Seek shade: Encourage your children to play in the shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Umbrellas, tents, and trees can provide shade.
- Wear sunglasses: Teach your children the importance of protecting their eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses that block out 99-100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Avoid tanning beds: Explain to your children that tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation and should be avoided.
- Educate: Teach your children about the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of skin protection. Lead by example and make sun protection a habit for your family.
- Regular check-ups: Take your children to a dermatologist for regular skin exams, especially if they have a history of sunburns or have fair skin.
We all want to make sure we are putting the best sunscreen on our kids. But how do we make sure we are buying the right sunscreen for our children?
I have come up with a helpful list of the qualities, we should be looking for when we are buying a sunscreen for our children. A good quality sunscreen should have the following qualities:
- Broad-spectrum protection: Look for a sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- If you live in Australia, New Zealand, USA or Europe. You need to make sure that the sunscreen has been approved by:
- (TGA) Therapeutic goods of Australia
- (FDA) Food and Drug Administration of USA
- New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe)
- European Scientific committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS)
- Mineral sunscreens are generally considered better than chemical sunscreens because they provide immediate protection upon application and are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Additionally, mineral sunscreens are more photostable and offer more broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. However, some people may find mineral sunscreens to be thicker and more opaque than chemical sunscreens, which can make them more difficult to apply. They are also safe for you and the environment!
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 50: A higher SPF provides more protection, but is not a guarantee of complete protection.
- Water-resistant: Children are often active and play in the water, so a water-resistant sunscreen is important to avoid reapplying frequently.
- Gentle on the skin: Children have delicate skin, so choose a sunscreen that is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, and is gentle and non-irritating.
- Easy or fun to apply: Children may be resistant to applying sunscreen, so choose a formula that is appealing to apply and does not leave a sticky or greasy residue.
- Pediatrician-recommended: Ask your pediatrician for a recommendation, especially if your child has sensitive skin or a skin condition.
- Remember to follow the instructions on the label and reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. A hat, protective clothing, and seeking shade are also important in protecting your child's skin from sun damage.
I hope my brief blog has given you some insider tip on buying the best sunscreen for your children. As a mum of three, I have always found it quite daunting buying sunscreen at the supermarket, because there where so many to choose from! Until I started making SunDust Bio Glitter Sunscreen, I wasn’t very aware about what I was putting on my children, I normally just chose the cheapest 😊