When the weather is good, everyone wants to be outside, and days at the beach are a must, especially when you go abroad on your holidays.
However, children’s skin is sensitive, and it’s important to keep them protected from the sun. Severe sunburn at an early age is painful and unpleasant, but it can also have far-reaching consequences in later life – sunburn is a sign that the skin has been damaged by too much UV radiation, and it’s this damage that can eventually lead to skin cancer.
Here are some top tips on how to keep your children protected from the sun while you are on holiday:
The most important thing to remember is that if you or one of your children sustains serious sunburn or sunstroke, always seek medical attention immediately. If you’re intending on travelling to Europe on holiday, make sure that you apply now for an e111 card with you at all times so that you can quickly obtain the necessary medical care.
Be ‘sun smart’
1. Keep kids out of the sun at the hottest time of the day, between 11am and 3pm.
2. Always use a high factor sunblock and remember to reapply when you’ve been in the sea or swimming pool. Children and babies have very delicate skin and as such are particularly vulnerable to sunburn, so make extra sure they are protected.
3. Your kids don’t have to be stuck inside on a lovely sunny day; choose a shady spot beneath a canopy, under a tree or beside a building. Alternatively, cover up. Choose a close-weave cotton fabric to give them maximum protection, and remember that loose-weave cloth stretches when it gets wet, which allows more UV rays to get through.
4. Kit your kids out in hats with nice, wide brims to make sure that their ears and the back of their neck are protected, as well as their faces. The best design incorporates a cloth flap at the back to cover your neck and these come in all sorts of funky designs that will encourage kids to wear them.
5. The skin around the eyes is very delicate and vulnerable to damage from UV rays too, so always have your kids wear a decent quality wrap-around style pair of sunglasses with polarised lenses.
6. If you’re on a boat, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that because there’s a cool breeze you won’t get burned. The sun is just as strong regardless of how windy it is, and it reflects from the surface of the water too so always cover up or stay in a shady part of the boat.
When you’re choosing sunscreen, pick the highest UV protection factor you can find and go for a reputable brand. A good product might be more expensive but it will be more effective than something cheap. Make a point of checking the expiry date on the product packaging too as something that’s out of date will not be fully effective.
Always apply and reapply thoroughly and frequently. Remember that sunscreen can never be 100% effective, so don’t be tempted to stay out in the sun for too long. Put plenty of sunscreen on before you and your kids go out into the sun so that it can be absorbed thoroughly then apply a second layer to make you’ve not missed anywhere. Put insect creams, makeup and moisturisers on after your sunscreen.