Babies and young children have sensitive skin that requires care and attention, especially during extremes of temperature. Even just one episode of serious sunburn in children/teenagers can almost double the risk of developing skin cancer in adulthood. Sun protection needs to start early and become a lifelong habit. Read on for some tips on summer skincare for these precious little ones!
- Keep babies less than 6-months-old out of direct sunlight. Make use of shade-creating props like parasols or other sunshades and don’t forget to use protective clothing like sun hats and long sleeves.
- Between the hours of 11-3pm (usually the hours of most intense sunlight depending on where you are in the world) keep younger children out of the sun and in protective clothing.
- When using sunscreen (typically in babies older than 6-months) look for a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above. Broad spectrum sunscreen (covering UV-A and UV-B) ensures adequate cover against harmful UV rays.
- There are usually specially adapted sunscreens for babies and young children that cater for their sensitive skin, look for suitable ones.
- Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide containing formulations can be used for babies and young children as they are less irritating to their skin.
- Apply sunscreen regularly to babies and young children, especially if they are getting wet or it is being wiped off easily.
- Ensure adequate rehydration in hot weather, consider if regular feeding is enough or if the frequency should be increased to include extra fluid.
- Keep blinds drawn in the bedrooms of babies less than 6-months-old and aim for a room temperature of 16-20℃ to ensure a cool, comfortable environment.
- Paddling pools and cool baths are another way to keep babies and young children cool in the heat.
See this link for more helpful tips from the British Skin Foundation:
Dr. Alia Ahmed also specialises in paediatric dermatology and offers clinic consultations at The Bridge Clinic in Maidenhead (SL6 8DG), The Circle Reading Hospital (RG2 0NE) and at The London Skin and Hair Clinic (WC1V 7DN).