Follow these top-tips to prevent Sunburn
We all know that sunburn is harmful to our skin, but did you know that getting sunburnt as a child increases the risk of skin cancer in later life? At any age, spending time in the sun exposes your skin to ultra violet radiation (UV rays), which can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to protect against UV rays, reduce the risk and keep your family safe in the sun.
UV exposure during the first 10-15 years of life makes a disproportionately large contribution to lifetime risk of skin cancer. Babies and children have lower concentrations of the skin pigment melanin and thinner skin. They are therefore more susceptible to the dangers of UV, and getting sunburnt as a child increases the risk of skin cancer in later life.
The good news is that there are simple things you can do to reduce this risk for you and your children.
How to protect your skin:
- Seek shade when sitting or playing outdoors, use a sunshade on a buggy to Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm. Play in the shade of trees and use a sunshade on your buggy or pram.
- Slip on clothing that covers skin, with long sleeves, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses You can protect your child’s skin from UV rays by covering them with clothes. Babies and children should also wear a hat with a wide brim to protect their faces and necks from the sun. Hats with neck flaps at the back can also help protect your child’s neck. If your child is going to swim, wear swimwear that covers their shoulders and back.
- Apply broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50+ for children Cover exposed parts of your skin with sun screen. Don’t forget to cover all areas especially the face, ears, neck, nose, lips and tops of the feet. Reapply regularly (approx. every 2 hrs), especially after sweating or swimming. For babies, use clothes to cover up their skin as much as possible, as well as applying sunscreen to their exposed skin. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection and should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
- Avoid getting a sunburn Sunburn is painful, itchy and uncomfortable and is caused by the same UV rays that cause skin cancer. Almost half of adults in Ireland got sunburnt last year. While 86% of people use sunscreen on their children, far fewer use measures such as shade and clothing for sun protection. If you get sunburnt do not go out into the sun unless your skin is covered with linen/cotton clothing, drink fluids regularly and take paracetamol/ibuprofen to relieve the pain.
Sunburn can happen both in Ireland and abroad, always protect your child’s skin from the sun.
Recommended Products: Avene SPF for sensitive skin or Nivea SPF50 for children