According to a type of research, people are exposed to sunlight twice as more during childhood than in any other time of the life. This is one of the reasons to protect children from the sun well, and prevent painful sunburn, that can eventually be the cause of developing skin cancer later in life. Young children should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all, since some children are sensitive to sunlight and might develop a rash, aside from many other skin damages.
Infants younger than six months should not be exposed to sun, since their skin is much too sensitive. What’s more, infant’s skin does not contain a lot of melanin, the pigment which protects skin from sun damage to a certain extent, so it’s better if they’re not exposed to sun until they’re older. Invest in removable mesh window shields, and protect them from direct sunlight during the drive in the car. UV window film is another great solution to keep the sunlight at bay. Avoid walking during the hottest time of the day, and take a walk either before 10 AM or after 4PM. Don’t forget to use the stroller with a sun protective cover to keep the baby in the shade at all times. A wide-brimmed bonnet is a great accessory to keep the baby’s ears, neck and face protected from the sun.
Babies older than six months can use a sunscreen, and you can expose them to sunlight, but only for a short period of time. Make sure to use SPF 15+ and apply it to baby’s arms, hands, and face. Even if the day is cloudy, apply the sunscreen before going outside, because the baby’s skin is highly sensitive even to the slightest sunlight. Thanks to the tear-free formula, the baby’s face will also stay protected, but won’t irritate the eyes. What’s more, make sure to apply the sunscreen half an hour before you go out, and always reapply it after swimming, or two hours after you’ve been under the direct sunlight in case the baby hasn’t been in the water with you. Protect the baby’s head and face with a hat, and go for fabric that won’t make them uncomfortable while they’re lying in the stroller.
Older children will also need to use sunscreen and protective clothing while playing in the sun. However, try to keep them as far away from direct sunlight as possible and provide them with a comfortable place to play by investing in high-quality commercial shade sails that will keep them away from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Furthermore, keep the children away from the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, to avoid sunburn or other, more serious health problems. A hat with a deep crown and angled brim is a good choice, and make sure it is proportional to the size of the child’s head so it can provide a shade across the neck and the whole face. Loose cotton clothes can also be a good way to protect the child from the sun, so consider putting an oversized T-shirt with sleeves on them, or clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Hats and sunglasses both look cute and do the work, so they’ll protect the child while making them stylish as well. Leave sundresses and sleeveless t-shirts for evening walks, and make sure you dress children in clothing that will protect their shoulders, arms and legs from the sunlight damage.
One of the biggest causes of skin cancer in adults is precisely sun damage in childhood. The worse the sunburn at a young age, the greater the risk of malignant melanoma development later in life. Therefore, make sure you protect your children from sun damage well, apply sunscreens, keep them away from the sun and protect their skin with lightweight clothes that cover the skin, to keep them safe from serious skin problems later in life.