Summer is upon us and many families indulge in lazy days by the pool or the beach during this time. However, if you’ve allowed your child to play outdoors without adequate sun protection, you’ve taken an enormous health hazard.
We should buckle down and protect our young.”
Do you remember your baby’s silk smooth skin? When your child is outdoors, the ultra-violet rays of sunlight can easily damage the skin leading to wrinkles and possibly cancer in future. Always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a healthy tan because tanning is a sign of sun damage.
Prior to 6 months, it is best to prevent sunscreen usage on your infant with exception to those special products which contain only nitric oxide as the sole active ingredient. Use only on the exposed parts of your baby’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 on my child and in what frequency?
Currently The Skin Cancer Foundation hasn’t prescribed any set quantity of sunscreen for growing kids. As a parent, make certain you’ve covered the majority of the exposed parts and have not ignored places like ears, tops of feet, backs of knees, and hands. Scrub the sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out so that the skin has had ample time to absorb the lotion.
It is advised that you reapply every two hours. However, if your kid is playing in the water or has a tendency to sweat, then application should be more frequent.
You might have difficulty in choosing which is the best sunscreen for your child.
Cambio and pediatrician Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, medical director for national and global affairs at the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, D.C has advocated,”Choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide because the chemicals are less irritating than others or get absorbed into the skin. These ingredients are probably the safest ones available right now. There’s some concern that other sunscreen ingredients, particularly oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate which is kind of Vitamin A, can lead to harm.
Do not panic if this happens. Get in touch with your paediatrician especially if your child is under the age of one. If you see blisters, together 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 that may help in reducing immediate pain, swelling and itching. Until full recovery, make certain that your child doesn’t wander outdoors.