Children’s skin is thinner and its pigmentation system (ability to “tan”) is still developing, which means it lacks the natural defences that help provide adult skin with some protection against harmful UV rays.
Protecting your child from the dangers of sun exposure
Because their skin is more vulnerable, babies and toddlers under 3 should have no direct sun exposure. Protection in childhood and adolescence is paramount. In the short term, excessive sun exposure can cause dehydration, heatstroke and sunburn. In the long term, it can cause an increased risk of skin cancer. But this risk can be drastically reduced by teaching children smart sun protection habits:
• Generously apply broad-spectrum UVA-UVB SPF 50+ sunscreen every 2 hours.
• Choose a “wet skin” formula at the beach or pool that you can apply without having to dry skin off first.
• Seek shade between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and bring a parasol or tent to the beach.
• Do not underestimate “indirect” sun exposure: Skin is still at risk on cloudy days, in the car, on the plane, etc. as UVA rays can pass through clouds and glass.
• Cover up with a hat, t-shirt, shades and high UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) swimwear.
• Use wearable technology such as My UV Patch to monitor sun exposure
Dangers of sun exposure
Sunburn is the obvious risk, but the effects can be life-longSun protection for children isn’t just for the holidays. Children are exposed to UV rays during outdoor activities all year round: picnics in the park, activities in the playground, playing sports etc. Babies are particularly vulnerable to sunburn, even with indirect sun exposure (this is when your baby is in the shade, but reflected sunlight still reaches their skin so protection is still crucial).Sun damage is incremental and cumulative: Think of it like spending on a sun credit card. With every “purchase” you make (sun exposure), your “sun debt” increases. It all adds up to increasing the risks over time.When children get too much sun, there are obvious short-term risks:
- Painful sunburn.
- Acceleration of skin ageing.
- Skin cancers such as melanoma.
Best sunscreen for kids
- Use a broad-spectrum UVA-UVB SPF 50+ sunscreen on all exposed skin.
- Apply sunscreen frequently (at least every two hours) and as evenly as you can. Don’t skimp on any areas - which is easily done when your children are wriggling or ticklish!
- Also be sure to apply generously: As a general rule of thumb, a golf ball-sized amount of sunscreen is needed to protect the whole body.
- Pay attention to frequently forgotten areas: Ears, nose, lips, back of the neck, hands, and feet.
- Re-apply sunscreen immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- To guarantee constant protection at the beach or pool, choose a sunscreen specifically designed for application on wet skin.
- For grab-and-go suncare you can use anytime, anywhere, reach for ANTHELIOS Pocket SPF50+. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and take through airport security, but contains enough formula for a week’s facial protection. With ANTHELIOS in your pocket, you’ll never find yourself out and about with no protection to hand again!.
- Show your kids how to apply their own sun protection – like a superhero!.
- ANTHELIOS Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 50+ Smooth Lotion is suitable for young children.
- ANTHELIOS Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 50+ Lotion Baby is formulated to protect your baby aged 6 months+ from indirect sun exposure. Hypoallergenic and enriched with Shea Butter, it is suitable for atopic, eczema-prone baby skin.
- ANTHELIOS Dermo-Pediatrics Spray SPF 50+ offer the same outstanding UV protection for children, in a convenient spray applicator.
- The weather can be unpredictable and it’s easy to get “caught out” in sunny weather with no protection to hand. The irresistible carry-everywhere format of ANTHELIOS Pocket SPF50+ caters to this previously unmet need. With one for adults and one for children, ANTHELIOS Pocket SPF50+ provides a week’s very high protection in a handy pocket powerpack format that you can carry with you wherever you go.