However, if you’ve allowed your child to play outdoors without adequate sun protection, you have taken an enormous health hazard.
We should buckle down and protect our young.”
Do you remember your child’s silk smooth skin? When your child is outdoors, the ultra-violet rays of the sun can easily damage the skin leading to wrinkles and cancer in future. Always bear in mind that there is no such thing as a healthy tan since tanning is a sign of sun damage.
Prior to 6 months, it is ideal to prevent sunscreen usage on your baby with exception to those special products that contain only zinc oxide as the only active ingredient. Use only on the exposed portions of your baby’s body. Furthermore, use shaded clothing as the principal protection method. Regulate outdoor times by going out before 10am or after 4pm so that you can stay away from the intense sun rays.
This brings us to the next question of – how much sunscreen should I use in my child and in what frequency?
Presently The Skin Cancer Foundation has not prescribed any set amount of sunscreen for growing children. As a parent, make certain you’ve covered most of the exposed parts and have not ignored places like ears, tops of feet, backs of knees, and hands. Rub the sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out so that the skin has had ample time to absorb the cream.
It’s recommended that you reapply every two hours. However, if your kid is playing in the water or has a propensity to sweat, then application should be more frequent.
You may have difficulty in deciding on which is the best sunscreen to your child.
Cambio and pediatrician Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, medical director for national and global affairs at the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, D.C has advocated,”Choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since the compounds are less bothersome than others or get absorbed into the skin. These ingredients are likely the safest ones out there right now. There is some concern that other sunscreen ingredients, especially oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate that’s kind of Vitamin A, can cause harm. But, both chemicals are FDA approved for use in sunscreens.”
In spite of these efforts, your child may still get sunburned.
Do not panic if that happens. Get in touch with your paediatrician particularly if your child is below the age of one. If you see blisters, together with acute pain and fever and your child is over one year old, you might try some home remedies like cool baths or a moist compress that may assist in reducing immediate pain, swelling and itching. Until full recovery, ensure that your child doesn’t wander outdoors.