Summer; the sun and the children

Summer is here!

sun
PhotoCredits: Lina Pantazoglou

(well this year summer in Greece is very strange,with rains,fires,heat and cold all in one week), but it is here!

All I can think through the workweek is the weekend and the  scent of salt water in the air and sand between my toes and the children playing around,building sand castles and swimming. However, a parent’s job never ends. From choosing the right sunscreen to choosing the right beach,here are some tips I gathered to help us.

UV rays are what cause the damage and are the ones you need to protect your skin from, with both types being linked to skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are responsible for skin reddening and sunburn. It’s also the main culprit for skin cancer but also causes tanning and premature ageing. UVB rays vary in strength depending on location, the time of day and the time of year.Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays penetrate deeper into your skin and are responsible for tanning. They also cause premature ageing such as wrinkles. UVA rays are normally fairly consistent all year round and at any time of the day

Sun protection factor (SPF) measures the amount of protection you’ll receive from the sun’s UVB rays. Rated on a scale from 2 to 50+ (the higher the number, the stronger the protection), it tells you how much longer your skin will take to turn red in response to UVB compared to if you weren’t using any protection.

It’s a pain to apply and reapply sunscreen but it’s vital if you’re planning on sitting out in the sun. A good rule to follow is one teaspoon per body part that’s exposed to the sun. For example, one teaspoon for the face, one for each arm and leg and so on. Remember, if you don’t apply enough sun cream, your level of protection is reduced.Always apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you’re out in the sun and top up just before. Once in the sun reapply every couple of hours or immediately if you’ve been swimming or sweating – even if your sun cream claims to be water resistant.

Sunscreen for babies and kids

Children under six-months-old should be kept out of direct, strong sunlight altogether by staying in the shade and using a hat and long-sleeved clothing to help keep skin covered.

If your little ones are older than six months, make sure they cover up with suitable clothing, stay out of the sun from 11am to 3pm and wear SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin such as the face, shoulders and neck. There are a whole range of sunscreen for kids for you to consider.

What should I do if my child gets sunburned?

Call the pediatrician if your child is under age 1 or if she’s older than 1 and has blisters, severe pain, lethargy, or a fever higher than 38 degrees. Ibuprofen and cool baths or moist compresses can lessen pain, swelling, and itching. (Never give aspirin to children, as it can cause a rare but serious metabolic disease called Reye’s syndrome.) Keep your child out of the sun until the burn is healed.

Remember

  • When the weather is hot, make sure you and your child drink plenty of cool drinks.
  • Keep an eye on your children’s clothing, hats & sunglasses throughout the day – make sure they continue to wear each item!
  • Watch the shade – remember the moving sun means that you may have to move to keep in the shade.
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and take immediate action to cool down.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car – at any time.

What else do you think when heading to the sun with your kids?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 

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