Protect Children From The Sun: Choose The Right Protection And Avoid Sunburn

Sun rays are a panacea for adults and children: exposure to the sun has positive effects on mood, and allows the body to produce vitamin D, which strengthens the bones and, in children, prevents problems such as rickets.

Exposure to the sun, however, should always be prudent, to avoid sunburn, erythema, or even more serious disorders such as melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer that can develop if you do not adequately protect the skin from UV rays.

In particular, the skin of children during the summer months needs constant attention: let’s see together how to best protect children, and how to choose the sun lotion to avoid unpleasant sunburn and irritation.

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM THE SUN: TIPS AND TRICKS

The skin of children is thinner than that of adults, and therefore much more delicate: in particular, in the skin of children there are fewer cells that produce melanin, a pigment that protects the skin from UV rays: for this reason children have more chances to burn themselves and develop erythema.

Let’s now explore together what are the measures to be taken during the summer months to avoid running into these problems.

SUN PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN? PROTECTION 50

First of all, it is important to know that sun protection does not completely prevent burns or erythema, but rather slows down the process of penetration of UV rays into the skin, activating a shielding depending on the protection factor SPF – Sun Protection Factor.

In short, a 50 protection cream increases the resistance of that type of skin to the sun by 50 times, a 30 protection by 30 times, and so on.

The suitable protection for children up to 12 years of age is SPF 50: in the following paragraphs we will discuss how to choose the sunscreen suitable for children and how to read the instructions on the bottles.

AVOID THE HOTTEST HOURS

The advice of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità is not to expose oneself to the sun during the hottest hours of the day, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. In any case, the sun should always be taken with the protection applied and, if you are in a sunny area or you spend the entire day outside the house, it is good to intersperse the moments in the sun with breaks of refreshment in the shade, often giving drinks to the children and making them wear a hat with a visor and sunglasses with anti UV lenses.

WHEN AND HOW TO APPLY SUNSCREEN?

The correct way to apply the cream to children is as follows:

  • The first application at least 20 minutes before exposure to the Sun, to allow absorption;
  • re-apply every 2 hours during exposure throughout the day;
  • always apply after bathing, even if the cream is water resistant.
  • The sunscreen should be spread all over the body with particular attention to the shoulders, ears, nose and upper feet, areas that are often at risk of burning.

YES TO CREAM EVEN ON CLOUDY DAYS

It is very important to give the cream to children even if it is cloudy or cloudy, because UV rays penetrate through clouds and mist.

Equally important is to protect children in the shade and under the umbrella, because the shading fabrics often do not filter the sun’s rays, and in these cases it is good to apply the protection with the same frequency as indicated above.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SUNSCREEN FOR YOUR CHILD?

In order to choose the most suitable sunscreen, it is necessary to distinguish the types of sunscreen and know their properties.

CHEMICAL FILTER AND PHYSICAL FILTER: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

First of all, some sun protection products apply a chemical filter and others a physical one: let’s see the difference together.

  1. The chemical filter is present in the sunscreen in the form of molecules (synthetic or natural) able to absorb the sun’s radiation and protects the skin thanks to the SPF.
  2. The physical filter, on the other hand, is made up of mineral particles, natural – for example clay, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – or artificial, able to reflect the sun’s rays and reject the radiation. Creams of this type create a white patina on the skin and generally prevent tanning.
  3. Chemical filter creams are always indicated, unless the child is particularly susceptible to erythema or photosensitive reactions. In these cases, it may be advisable to completely shield the skin and then choose a physical filter cream.

In addition, as we will see below, physical filter creams are suitable for newborns.

SUNSCREEN FOR CHILDREN: FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE CHOICE

Now that we have identified the main types of sunscreen, let’s see what are the characteristics that should not be missing in a product suitable for children:

CHILDREN’S SUNSCREEN: FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE CHOICE

Now that we have identified the main types of sunscreen, let’s see what are the characteristics that should not be missing in a product suitable for children:

  • must be resistant to both UVA (ultraviolet rays type A, present throughout the year) and UVB (rays type B, present at our latitude in particular from April to October);
  • must be water resistant, and it is advisable to look for, if present, an indication of the time of resistance;
  • it must be without perfumes and parabens that risk irritating the skin.

INFANTS IN THE SUN: HOW TO PROTECT BABIES UP TO 12 MONTHS OF AGE

What about the little ones? The indications of the Ministry of Health are as follows:

  • not expose children under 12 months of age to direct sunlight, because their skin is still very thin, and melanin is practically absent, which is why the risks of erythema and sunburn are particularly high;
  • if the baby is taken to the beach or kept outdoors, avoid 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m;
  • When the newborn is in the open air, always apply the 50+ protection, which is formulated with physical filters;
  • keep the baby covered with cotton clothes, in particular bodysuits and hats
  • When the newborn baby is in a stroller, install a protection to protect it from direct rays, for example a shading hood or a parasol for walking.
  • Protecting children from the sun, especially during the summer months, is of paramount importance to avoid damage to health and maintain the well-being of the skin.

To adopt a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to be aware of preventive measures, including the possibility of taking out insurance policies dedicated to the needs of children and young people. Among these there is Family Protection for Children of UniSalute, designed specifically for children at home: among the services, particularly useful during the summer can be “The paediatrician responds,” which provides a specialist for doubts related to the health of children, even during the holidays.

Have you ever considered this opportunity?

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