Sunscreen and kids

But if you have allowed your child to play outside without adequate sun protection, you’ve taken an enormous health risk.

We should buckle down and protect our young.”

Do you remember your child’s silk smooth skin? When your child is outdoors, the ultra-violet beams of sunlight can easily damage the skin resulting in wrinkles and cancer in future. Always bear in mind that there is not any such thing as a healthy tan because tanning is a sign of sun damage.

Before 6 months, it is ideal to prevent sunscreen usage on your infant with exception to those special products that contain only zinc oxide as the only active ingredient. Use only on the exposed portions of your child’s body. Additionally, use shaded clothing as the principal protection method. Squeeze outside times by going out before 10am or after 4pm so that you can stay away from the intense sun rays.

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This brings us to another question of – how much sunscreen should I use in my kid and in what frequency?

Presently The Skin Cancer Foundation has not prescribed any set quantity of sunscreen for growing kids. As a parent, make certain you’ve covered most of the exposed parts and have not ignored places like ears, tops of feet, backs of knees, and hands. Rub the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out so that the skin has had ample time to absorb the lotion.

It’s recommended that you reapply every 2 hours. However, if your child is playing in the water or has a propensity to sweat, then application should be more frequent.

You might have difficulty in deciding on which is the best sunscreen to your child.

Cambio and pediatrician Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, medical director for national and international events in the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, D.C has recommended,”Choose a sunscreen that includes zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since the chemicals are less bothersome than others and do not get absorbed into the skin. These ingredients are probably the safest ones out there right now. There is some concern that other sunscreen ingredients, particularly oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate that’s kind of Vitamin A, can cause harm. However, both chemicals are FDA approved for use in sunscreens.”

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 that may assist in reducing immediate pain, itching and swelling. Until full recovery, ensure that your child doesn’t wander outdoors.

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