We teach our kids how to be safe- avoid talking to strangers, look both ways before crossing the street or not to play with scissors; but we often forget about skin care. Prolonged sun exposure can cause severe skin problems like blisters, rashes, and bumps, white spots, rough texture, etc. It can also cause premature ageing and even skin cancer in the long term. Experts have predicted that by the time you are 10 years old, most of the sun damage is already done. For parents, it can be a scary thought. It is very important to protect your child from the sun exposure, which is of course not easy. Even though you try to protect them by using sunscreens, hats, and other protective clothing, it is difficult to stay on the top of it during a vacation or when your kid is playing in the neighbourhood.
So, if you are worried about your kid when they are away from under your watchful eyes, check out the following tips to protect your child’s skin this summer.
It might be difficult to explain to your kid why he/she needs to remember to apply/reapply sunscreen during the day. But, communication can make a big difference. Talk to your kid regarding the importance of protecting the skin and keeping it healthy and safe. Don’t make these conversations scary or shocking to make an impact. Make the talk simple, true, and straight.
Healthy Sunscreen Habits
Most kids grumble when you apply sunscreen or any other cream for that matter. But, it is very important to use sunscreen as a part of the daily routine. You should also reapply it after 2-3 hours. When you have applied the sunscreen and are waiting for it to dry, give your child something to keep him occupied. This will stop them from getting bored and they will have no time to complain. Even let your kid try to apply some. Remember to use sunscreen, 365 days, straight up.
Use Easy and Fun products
Applying the flabby and thick cream while ensuring that you don’t miss any important place can be tedious. You can try spraying sunscreen. It is easy, quick and offers consistency. It does not drip into the eyes and gets quickly absorbed by the skin. Try to purchase products with funny packaging, kids love that. You can buy an SPF food-flavoured lip balm to making the process more palatable.
As the world is becoming more and more aware of the risks of skin cancer, more protective gears have entered the market. There are swimsuits that protect from UV radiation. They cover the larger areas of the body and protect the skin from sun damage. Rash Guards, also known as swim shirts, provide a protective covering. They don’t drag out or pull the way normal T-shirts do after getting wet. During the sun, avoid wet and light-coloured clothes as they can transmit sunlight. Cover your kid with dark coloured clothes with long pants and sleeves. Don’t forget the accessories. Use sunglasses to guard against burning corneas and hats to prevent sunburn. Hats with brims, sunglasses, and protective clothing are important for babies too.
UV rays are strongest between 10 AM and 3 PM. So, if you are on a picnic, find a place under a big tree or any other place that provides shade. If you are at a beach, open your umbrella and call your kids for a sandcastle competition. During a Sunday afternoon, if your kid is out with his friends, call him inside for scrabble.
Limit the outdoor time
Avoid unnecessary exposure from the sun, especially during the afternoon when the rays of the sun are strongest. Even on cooler and cloudy days, UV rays can damage your skin. Even shady spots can't help you because of the reflected light. So, if your child is playing outside under the hot sun, remember to use protective measures.
Apply sunscreen properly
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out as the sunscreen doesn't start working the moment you apply to your skin. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. You can try using colourful and scented sunscreens. Don’t forget to apply the cream on the ears, nose, hands, shoulders, feet, behind the neck, and even lips. Reapply the cream after every 2 to 3 hours or after swimming or sweating.
Keep a watch on all the medications you are giving to your kid. Some medications tend to increase the sensitivity of the skin towards the sun. Prescribed antibiotics and medicines for acne are the most dangerous ones. Consult your doctor for more information.
Drinking water is essential in summer but most kids simply don’t drink enough water as it’s tasteless to them. Healthy fresh juices like aloe vera or jamun juice work effectively to quench thirst during the heat of scorching sunrise and taste great too.
Your child is a reflection of you. If you tell your child about the given sun-safety rules, he or she will probably take you for granted. But, if they see you living up to the rules, they will follow you. Skin protection is important for every single member of the family. So, you need to team up with your kid to stay protected when you are venturing out in the sun.