With the sun peeking out more and the days getting warmer, we continue to ask all of our parents to send their children to school with sunscreen on. For adults, sunburn and poisoning can be annoying and painful, but for young children it can be threatening and cause serious illness. Keeping children indoors isn’t the solution to this problem, and so we’re sharing ways to encourage sun safety in your little ones.
- Shade: Shade is key, especially for infants. Taking a walk? Make sure that the umbrella on your stroller is covering them. Sitting outdoors? Aim for a covered pavilion or awning to keep your infant out of direct sunlight. A spot often overlooked is the car – make sure that in the warmer months, your baby is positioned in the middle of the back ,away from the side windows. A UV-blocking film that can be applied to any windows is also a great tool to have in the car, without reducing visibility.
- Sunscreen: The use of sunscreen on children under 6 months old is actually not recommended (unless the only ingredient is zinc oxide), it’s best to just keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Clothing: Sun-safe clothing is important for babies too, such as sunglasses and wide hats that will cover their ears and necks.
- Sunscreen: It’s always important to put on sunscreen, even if the sun doesn’t feel all that hot. Remember the acronym BEENS (Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, Scalp). Reapply every two hours, or more if your child has been swimming or running through the sprinkler (even water resistant sunscreen!). Aim for a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, and try to go with as many natural ingredients as possible to avoid irritation on sensitive skin.
- Clothing: Avoid white – if you can see through it, so can the sun. Go for darker colors in a breathable fabric. Headed to a water park? Search for a swim shirt with a UV protection built in (it’ll at least last a couple of visits).
- Aloe gel should be applied to sunburnt skin. If you can place it in a fridge for a few minutes prior to use, it’ll feel better.
- Ibuprofen (check with your doctor to see what the recommended amount would be).
- Fluids!! For children, dehydration is an even scarier and more urgent issue when they play in the sun so make sure to keep them hydrated throughout the day and especially if they’ve gotten a burn.