The right sun protection for children
Children’s skin is very sensitive – especially to UV radiation. In order to protect the little ones from harm, you should ensure that you have sufficient sun protection. Not only sunscreen is used, but also the right clothing and, above all, shade.
Pay attention to the UV index at your holiday destination or at home. This indicates how strong the solar radiation, i.e. the UV component, is at the moment. The UV index 1 or 2 is considered harmless, with index 3 to 4 you have to wear sun protection – even if it’s cloudy!
- Babies: In the first year of life, children should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, the baby should always lie or sit in the shade. You should avoid awnings or similar that protect the child from the blazing sun. There is a risk of overheating here!
- Even in the shade, the baby should be protected with clothing. Long-sleeved tops and trousers made of light fabrics are particularly suitable – preferably with integrated UV protection. A hat is also a must in the shade. On the other hand, you should largely avoid sunscreen in the first twelve months. Otherwise the sensitive skin will be additionally burdened.
- Toddlers up to preschool age: Children between the ages of two and five should also prefer shady places – especially in the midday sun. Since small children like to move and do not always want to or cannot stay in the shade, special UV clothing and a sun hat (with eye and neck protection) are required. Simple cotton clothing, on the other hand, does not protect as well.
- In addition, all uncovered parts of the body are creamed with sufficient sunscreen. Don’t forget the ears and nose and toes if you have bare feet.
- From primary shoulder: Older children generally no longer want to wear special UV clothing. In addition, you do not always have control over your offspring staying in the shade. Therefore, make sure that your child always has enough sunscreen, a cap or hat and sunglasses with them.
The right sunscreen for children
Only apply special sunscreen for children to your offspring. These are particularly well tolerated and do without certain ingredients and fragrances that can irritate the skin.
- Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, SPF 50 is better. In theory, children can play in the sun for two hours without risking sunburn.
- It is best to apply cream to your child 20 to 30 minutes before going out or splashing around so that the cream can absorb and the protection can develop.
- Regular follow-up creaming is also mandatory. With SPF 50 after two hours at the latest, with heavy sweating or after bathing sooner. This will keep you protected from the sun. However, you cannot increase it by applying cream several times.
- When it comes to sunscreen, a lot helps a lot. Children from two to five need a 1.5 middle finger long stroke of sunscreen for each uncovered part of the body. With sprays it is five to six sprays per body part. Double the amount should be used for the face.
- Elementary school children need a line two middle fingers long or seven to ten sprays. Older children need a smear of sunscreen from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger for each part of their body. When using a sun spray, this corresponds to 15 sprays.
Help with sunburn
One sunburn is one too many. The skin does not forget that the consequences of sunburn can still appear in adulthood – for example in the form of skin cancer. Unfortunately, sunburn cannot always be avoided. If it does happen, it is important to act quickly and correctly in order to relieve the pain.
- Cool the burned areas with a damp cold cloth or a special cooling gel that you can get from the pharmacy.
- After cooling, you should rub the skin with moisturizer and cover it with clothing, such as a wet t-shirt. Special foam sprays can also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- If you have a fever and pain, you should give your child ibuprofen juice for children for the first 48 hours.
- If your child is doing very badly or if the symptoms do not improve, you should consult a pediatrician.