Why do children need sunscreen?
Because 50% of sun exposure happens during childhood, children are particularly needful of a good sunscreen. Especially during hot summer days when they can spend lots of time outdoors swimming, playing with friends or simply hanging out, they are particularly prone to getting sunburn.
What are the health risks of sunburn?
If a person had many episodes of sunburn during childhood, they may be at a higher risk of developing skin cancer later on in life. Sunburn can also contribute to premature skin ageing, where the skin may appear rough, wrinkly and dry..
What are the common symptoms or signs of sunburn in children?
- Just like adults, the following signs can tell you that your child has sunburn:
- Reddened skin
- Skin is hot to touch
- Skin is tender to touch
- Painful skin
- Peeling off skin
But in more severe cases of sunburn the following additional symptoms may appear:
- Blisters with fluid
- General feeling of illness
First aid for sunburn
Immediately remove them from the sun to prevent further burning.
Put them in a cool, not cold shower or bath. If this is not possible, apply cool compresses as often as necessary on the affected area. Be mindful that the following parts of the body are the ones that get burnt fastest: neck, nape, nose, cheeks, shoulders, back and arms.
Give him extra fluids for the next 2-3 days. This will help rehydrate the skin. Choose fruits and vegetable juices that are particularly helpful in repairing damaged skin and those that have cooling effects. Examples are: cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, melon and grapes.
Give a pain reliever, if needed. You may also opt to give anti-inflammatory medicines to help arrest the inflammation of the skin.
Immediately apply moisturising products. Products that contain Aloe Vera, oatmeal and witch hazel are particularly helpful in soothing pain and relieving itching.
Do not leave the sunburned parts to become further exposed to sunlight as this will prolong the healing process.
Make sure your child wears long sleeves and long pants until the sunburned parts are completely healed.
When do I need to seek emergency care?
You must go to the nearest emergency facility if :
- The sunburn has formed blisters and your child is in extreme pain
- You child's face has swollen from sunburn
- Sunburn affects a large area of the skin
- Your child develops fever or chills after getting sunburned
- Your child complains of headache, confusion or dizziness
- You notice signs of dehydration (e.g. increased thirst or dry eyes and mouth)
How can you protect your child from getting sunburn?
- Keep them under the shade, especially between 10am- 4pm when the sun's rays are most intense. It is best to plan indoor activities during this time.
- Keep them covered up. When possible, dress them with long sleeves shirts and pants or skirts.
- Choose a material that is tightly woven fabric as this offers the best protection. You may consider investing in clothes with built in ultraviolet protection.
- Give them a hat that can cover the face, scalp, ears and neck.
- Give them sunglasses with UV protection.
- Apply suitable sunscreen products.
What is the best sunscreen for kids?
It is best to choose a sunscreen product that is specially formulated for children. Look for ingredients that are natural and do not contain harsh chemicals. These types are the safest sunscreens for children. Titanium oxide or zinc oxide sit on the skin to reflect the UV rays as compared to chemical based sunscreens that are absorbed by the skin. Choose a product that contains at least SPF 30 with broad spectrum protection.
How to properly apply sunscreen on your child
Slather the chosen product all over exposed parts of the skin.
Focus on the face, shoulders and back if your child wants to go without a shirt.
Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and repeat every 2 hours, each time they towel off or get out of the water.
Don't forget to put some on ears, nose, and top of the feet.
Use a lip balm with UV protection. Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.