How to protect children from the sun?

Summer is the season that kids love the most … especially for the opportunity to be outdoors, surrounded by greenery and sunshine. However, the sun represents the sore point of summer. Because it must be taken with great care and always with appropriate precautions and protections. Here are the ten tips from the dermatologist to allow children to be in the sun without running risks. How to protect children from the sun with the advice of Professor Leonardo Celleno, a dermatologist in Rome and President of the Italian Association of Skin and Cosmetology (Aideco).

How to get babies to sunbathe?

Up to six months of life, it is important to protect children from the sun, and direct exposure to sunlight should be completely avoided. In fact, infants have not yet developed the natural mechanisms for protection against possible damage caused by the sun. They have thin, fragile and defenseless skin: melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, are immature and unable to develop a tan color, which is the natural shield against the sun. Also pay attention to sun glare both towards the sea and in the mountains: not even the umbrella on the wheelchair protects them properly. It is better to keep them in the shade and only take them for a walk in the coolest hours of the day, early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

What sunscreen should you use for children?

The skin’s defense system is not yet fully developed in children, who are therefore always protected when they are in the sun with a shielding sunscreen that avoids rashes and burns. Beyond the immediate, sunburn represents an insult that the skin retains even in the years to come: it has actually been confirmed that children who have had burns in childhood are more likely to develop skin tumors in adulthood.

Every family member should have a personalized sunscreen. And this is especially true for children who have particularly delicate and fragile skin and therefore need protective formulas designed for their needs. Sunscreens for children, for example, are characterized by a high shielding system (Spf 50) made with physical filters consisting of tiny mineral particles that reflect the sun’s rays and prevent them from reaching the epidermis. Sunscreens for adults, on the other hand, generally contain chemical filters that can cause greater reactions on children’s delicate skin. Sunscreens for toddlers also have good resistance to water and sweat and are easy to use to make the application task as simple as possible for mothers. In sunscreen products for children, the presence of potentially allergenic substances, such as perfume, is minimized, while there are emollient and soothing active ingredients such as aloe, panthenol (vitamin B5), thermal water and bisabolol (soothing extract from chamomile).

How to apply sunscreen to children?

To protect children from the sun, it is not enough to choose the right sunscreen. You also need to use them well. This means that you should preferably apply them before leaving the house, on the whole body, including the ears, ankle, the part just below the costume (which risks burns if the fabric moves while the child is playing) and behind the legs. The spray formulations are quick to apply, even if the child is not standing still and reaches all parts of the body. So there is no fear of abundance: only a fairly generous dose can really protect the best.

To give the skin the right protection, it is important that mothers renew the application of the sunscreen every two hours and always after the bath, because even if the product is resistant to water, it loses its effectiveness, especially if the immersion is longer. . Sunscreen should also be used when the skin begins to color, to avoid an overdose of rays, which accumulate over the years, can cause serious damage to the body.

Holding the child under an umbrella does not completely protect it from the sun’s risks due to reflected radiation. Therefore, even though it is under the umbrella, it should be protected with a sunscreen. It needs to be protected even more when it is in the water or playing with light sand, because the reflection amplifies the power of the rays, which increases the risk of burns.

When to expose children to the sun?

Even if they are protected with a sunscreen, children should never be in the sun from twelve to sixteen when the sun’s rays are more direct and therefore more dangerous. Caution applies especially to the little ones who, in addition to sun damage, may suffer from the heat, as their thermoregulatory system, which is still immature, does not allow sufficient sweat necessary to dissipate the heat.

What is after sun milk for?

The specific formulations for children are specially designed to relieve the feeling of heat, irritation and redness after a day in the sun, by the sea and in the heat. The after-sun then moisturizes the skin and helps it stay soft. It should be given a generous dose after the evening shower, which should be gentle, precisely because it serves to remove sweat, sand and sun residue that can further irritate the skin.

In summary

Should sunscreen only be used by the sea?

No! Sun protection is not only necessary by the sea, but under all exposure conditions. In the mountains, first and foremost, because the height increases the power of the rays and thus the danger, but also in the countryside, by the lake, in the swimming pool and in the city.

How do you protect your head and eyes from the sun?

A hat is also essential to avoid heat stroke for the little one, even better if with a visor to avoid damage to the eyes. In this regard, another indispensable accessory is sunglasses that are recommended from the age of two.

How to cure sunburn in children?

The appearance of erythema indicates that the baby’s skin is responding to excessive sun exposure. In this case, it is necessary to intervene immediately by applying an after-sun treatment to the skin or at least a treatment based on soothing, moisturizing and refreshing substances such as calendula, aloe, bisabolol, mallow and glycyrrhetinic acid extracted from licorice. It is then important to suspend exposure to the sun until erythema has returned.

The information on this site is not intended for and should in no way replace the direct relationship between healthcare professionals and the user. It is therefore advisable to always consult your doctor and / or specialists.

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