Even though it’s still spring, we’ve already had some glorious weather and with weather reports predicting that the UK is in for another summer of scorching temperatures, we could once again be facing days of endless sunshine.
While there’s nothing better than basking in the glorious sunshine, we should always remember the importance of protecting both ourselves and our children from the sun’s harmful rays. With approximately 15,000 new melanoma skin cancer cases occurring in the UK every year, it’s now the 5th most common cancer affecting Britons. And what’s more, 86% of these cases are preventable – highlighting the importance of practicing good sun safety.
Below we’ve listed some great ways to ensure your kids stay protected this summer.
Stay out of the sun
The best way to protect your child is to keep them out of the sun. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside on a beautiful sunny day however. Go to places where there’s plenty of shade and avoid being in direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
Dress them appropriately
Dress your child in loose cotton clothes so they’re covered but don’t get too hot. A hat with a wide brim will help to shade their face, ears and neck – these are all delicate parts which tend to burn easily. Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses that meet the British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005) and carry the CE mark. If any part of your child’s skin is exposed, make sure you’ve applied a 5* UVA kids suncream.
One of the best ways to stop your kids from burning is to apply a 5* UVA kids suncream. This should even be done on cloudy or overcast days. We recommend that you use a different lotion for your children than you would for yourself. Kids’ suncream tends to be high factor (SPF 50) and fragrance-free to reduce the number of potential allergens typically found in these lotions.
Suncream should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The SPF factor (protects against UVB sun rays), is as important as the star rating (this indicates the level of protection against UVA rays). The maximum SPF level you can get is 50+ and the maximum star rating is 5*. It’s highly recommended that you choose the maximum protection for your child as their skin is more sensitive.
How to apply suncream to kids
It’s a good idea to apply suncream when you’re getting your child dressed so you can ensure that no areas are missed. Pay careful attention to the areas which will be exposed such as the face, ears, feet and the back of their hands. Some creams are coloured which is great at helping you to identify any missed areas. Spray or roll-on suncreams for kids can make application easier for fidgety children or for when you’re out and about.
Suncream should be re-applied every few hours or whenever they’ve been in the water. Ensure that the shoulders and the back of the neck have plenty of lotion on them because these are the most common places to get sunburn. If your child is swimming, make sure you’re using a water-resistant suncream.
How much suncream should I use?
Experts are in agreement that most people don’t apply enough suncream. They advise 2mg of cream per cm2 of skin. Unless you’re a mathematician, this can be difficult to figure out but as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults apply 35ml (seven teaspoons), you should use between a quarter and half this amount depending on your child’s age and size.
For further advice and information visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/ and if you are at all worried about you or your child’s skin make an immediate appointment with your doctor.
At Tiger’s Day Nurseries we take sun protection very seriously. If you would like to know more about how we practice sun safety with all our students, please do get in touch.