Summer is upon us and many families indulge in lazy days by the pool or the beach during this time period. But if you have allowed your child to play outdoors without adequate sun protection, you’ve taken an enormous health hazard.
We really need to buckle down and protect our young.”
Do you remember your child’s silk smooth skin? When your child is outside, the ultra-violet beams of the sun can easily damage the skin resulting in wrinkles and possibly cancer in future. Always keep in mind that there isn’t any such thing as a healthy tan because tanning is a sign of sun damage.
So quite naturally, the foremost question that may come to your mind is at what age is it right to begin using sunscreen on your baby?
Before 6 months, it’s best to avoid sunscreen usage on your baby with exception to those particular products that contain only nitric oxide as the sole active ingredient. Use only on the exposed parts of your child’s body. Furthermore, use shaded clothing as the primary protection method. Regulate outdoor times by going out before 10am or after 4pm so that you can stay away from the intense sun rays.
This brings us to the next question of – how much sunscreen should I use in my kid and in what frequency?
Currently The Skin Cancer Foundation hasn’t prescribed any set quantity of sunscreen for growing children. As a parent, make certain you’ve covered most of the exposed parts and haven’t ignored places like ears, tops of feet, backs of knees, and hands. Scrub the sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out so the skin has had ample time to absorb the lotion.
It’s recommended that you reapply every 2 hours.
You might have difficulty in choosing which is the best sunscreen to your child.
Cambio and pediatrician Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, medical director for national and international affairs at the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, D.C has advocated,”Pick a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since the chemicals are less irritating than others and do not get absorbed into the skin. These ingredients are likely the safest ones out there right now. There’s some concern that other sunscreen ingredients, especially oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate which is form of Vitamin A, can lead to harm.
In spite of these efforts, your child may still get sunburned.
Do not panic if that happens. Get in touch with your paediatrician particularly if your child is under the age of one. If you see blisters, along with acute pain and fever and your child is over one year old, you may try some home remedies like cool baths or a moist compress which may help in reducing immediate pain, itching and swelling. Until full recovery, ensure that your child does not wander outdoors.