It’s gradually getting warmer and it won’t be long until the Summer sun is out in full force. The sun’s UV rays can damage skin within 15 minutes of exposure and can take up to 12 hours to become visibly clear on the skin. You may have noticed that you’ve caught the sun the morning after being out in it and not necessarily spotted it the same day, this is why. It’s also important to know that any form of UV on the skin is not healthy, whether your child burns or tans, both indicate damage from the sun’s UV rays. Even on cloudier days, you may assume the clouds are blocking out the sun, therefore it will not burn. This is in fact not true. Clouds do not block UV rays from the sun, they filter them. This means that although the sun is not clearly visible, it’s UV rays are still equally as strong.
Here you will find some of out top tips for protecting children and their skin during the hot Summer months.
The sun’s UV rays are usually at their strongest between 10:00am and 4:00pm. We understand that keeping children indoors during the Summer is pretty difficult because they want to go out and play. It’s important that children have some sort of shade to play under when outside. Garden umbrellas and pop up tents will do the trick. If you have some forestation in your garden you are especially lucky, children can use this to seek shade. The sun can be draining and when it’s warm you can lose essential body salts through excessive sweating. This can lead to dehydration. Staying in the shade and drinking plenty of water will help to prevent this.
Encourage children to wear loose long sleeved tops and loose bottoms rather than vests and shorts when possible. This will help to protect children’s skin from UV rays. It’s important to note that different colours can attract or repel the sun. For example, lighter colours like whites, creams and yellows attract the sun whereas blacks, navies and greys repel the sun.
Summer hats are great because they provide protection to the face, ears, scalp and neck. Caps are not as effective because they are not made to protect the skin in the sun. If your child is wearing a cap, it’s very important to ensure you are protecting their face, ears and neck with suncream. As an extra precaution, we advise you still use suncream in these areas even when wearing a summer hat.
Eyes are very sensitive towards bright lights, especially the sun’s strong UVs. When choosing children’s sunglasses it’s important to ensure they block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays. We suggest looking in your local opticians for sunglasses as they are guaranteed to provide the best protection to your little one’s eyes.
It is highly recommended that you use an SPF 50 UVA and UVB protection suncream on your children’s skin. Suncream should be applied generously before your child goes outdoors and topped up regularly, at least every 2 hours. If you wish to apply more often within the 2 hour time frame that is absolutely fine. If your child is going to be in water, a water resistant suncream is recommended. Applying suncream to your children does not mean they should spend time outside in the direct sunlight. It’s still important to take precautions and use shade.
It’s important to plan ahead during the Summer months. You may leave in the morning whilst it is relatively dull and then by mid day the sunshine is blazing. Always take children’s suncream, sun hats and sunglasses with you even if you think you won’t need them. It’s better to be safe than sorry after all! Checking the weather before you leave is always helpful too. You’ll know what to expect throughout the day and be able to prepare. You can even check the sun’s UV strength on most weather apps!