Spending time outdoors is something we do frequently during spring or summer vacations, but remember to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. We are all at risk of sunburn. Children especially need to be protected from the sun’s rays because sun damage happens more frequently in childhood. As with any burn, sunburn leaves the skin red and sore. In severe cases, they can cause blisters, fever, chills, headaches and general malaise. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers advice on keeping children healthy in the sun.
Safety of babies under 6 months under the sun
- Babies younger than 6 months should be protected from direct sunlight. Put your baby in the shade under a tree, parasol or the cover / hood of a stroller. Dress babies in light clothing that covers arms and legs and wear wide-brimmed hats that cover their necks to prevent sunburn.
- When you do not have the appropriate clothing or find shade, you can apply a very small amount of sunscreen of at least a sun protection factor of 15 (SPF) on some parts of the body of babies under 6 months, for example, on the face or back of the baby’s hands, if there is no other way to avoid the sun’s rays.
- Remember that it takes 30 minutes for its effect to begin.
- If a baby is sunburned, apply cold compresses on the affected areas.
Safety of children under the sun
- The first and best form of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is to cover yourself. Stay in the shade as much as possible and limit the sun exposure of the hours of maximum intensity-between 10 am and 4 pm
- Choose clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Cotton clothing is fresh and protects. Try to put a wide-brimmed hat on your child’s cheeks (cheeks), jaw, ears and the back of the neck. Sunglasses with protection against ultraviolet light (UV) are also a good idea to protect your child’s eyes.
- Apply sunscreen with a factor of protection, SPF (SPF) of 15 or more to the child’s skin that is not covered by clothing. Before applying, do a test by putting a small amount on the child’s back to see if he has an allergic reaction. Apply it carefully around the eyes, avoiding the eyelids. If a rash develops, talk to your pediatrician.
- Be sure to apply enough sunscreen-about one ounce at a time to a young adult.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after going swimming or sweating.
- If your child suffers sunburns that cause blisters, pain or fever, contact your pediatrician.
Family security under the sun
- The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm try to avoid the sun during those hours.
- Ultraviolet rays are harmful and can bounce off sand, water, snow or concrete.
- Wear commercially available clothing designed to protect you from the sun, such as t-shirts to swim.
- Most of the sun’s rays can reach through the clouds on cloudy days, so do not forget sun protection on days like these.
- When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label – this means that the sunscreen will protect you not only from ultraviolet B (UVB) but from ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a waterproof sunscreen and re-apply it every two hours or after swimming, sweating or drying with a towel. Try to choose a sunscreen that does not contain ingredient oxybenzone, a sunscreen chemical that may contain hormonal properties.
- Zinc oxide, a very effective sunscreen, can be used as additional protection for the nose, cheeks and the tips of the ears and shoulders.
- Use a sunscreen with a factor of protection, SPF (SPF) of at least 15. Sunscreens with protective factors, SPF (SPF) of more than 50 have limited additional benefits.
- Rub the sunscreen well, making sure to cover all exposed body parts, such as the face, nose, ears, feet and hands, even on the back of the knees.
- Put on your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors – since it takes time for it to start working on your skin.
- Sunscreens should be used to protect from the sun and is not a reason to stay in the sun any longer.