Sun protection is pivotal for kids. Irrespective of their skin type and colour, children must be safeguarded against the harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation and painful sunburns. The radiation can cause premature wrinkles and skin cancer.
How can you protect your child?
Experts suggest using broad spectrum sunscreen on children. To get the utmost protection against UVA and UVB rays, always use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Furthermore, titanium dioxide-based sunscreen is best for sensitive areas such as the nose, cheeks, and ears.
Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before sun exposure as it takes some time for the skin to absorb it. If your child has very short hair, don’t forget to protect the neck and head. It is also recommended to use sunscreen even if your child is sitting under a beach umbrella as sand reflects UV rays.
Consult the best dermatologist in Dubai if you are confused about the type of sunscreen that must be used on your children.
Pro tip: try to keep your child indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as the sun’s rays are intense during this period.
Extra care for infants
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, infants should wear clothing that covers the arms and legs and brimmed hats.
Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun when UV levels reach 3 or higher.
However, apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher if adequate clothing and shade aren’t available. The sunscreen should be applied over areas such as the face and back of the hands. Cool compresses are the best for treating sunburns in infants.
Parents should double check medicines they give to their children as some of them can make skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Visit the skin specialist in Dubai if your children are allergic to certain medicines. Seek doctor help if any prescription (especially antibiotics and acne medicines) and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines your kids take can increase sun sensitivity. If so, take extra sun precautions.
What are the treatments for sunburn?
Children can experience sunburn in as little as ten minutes. Depending on the severity, it can take a few days or weeks to heal. Treatment aims to help your child feel more comfortable.
Here are a few tips:
- · Keep your child hydrated by providing sufficient water throughout the day
- · Use a cold compress or a cool bath to keep the skin cool
- · In some cases, you may need to give simple relief medicine (paracetamol or ibuprofen) to heal sunburn.
- · Prevent further UV damage by keeping your child indoors
Signs of severe sunburn include:
- · Blisters
- · Swollen skin
- · Severe pain
Sometimes children can get heatstroke, along with sunburn. If your child’s sunburn is accompanied by fever, headaches or nausea and vomiting, seek medical assistance immediately.
Other equipment’s to use other than sunscreen
Children should wear:
- · Sun-protective clothing
- · Sunglasses with UVR-absorbing lenses
- · A wide-brimmed hat to shade the face, foot and neck whenever engaged in activities such as cycling.