With the arrival of summer comes the hope of sunshine, warmth and hopefully lots of fun for your little ones. To ensure delight doesn’t turn into danger, make sure you follow our weekly guidance on how you can Buy Wise, Be Safe this summer.
Sun cream (SPF) should be applied to all exposed parts of your child’s body if they are out in the summer. Even on cloudy or overcast days, SPF should be applied. UVA protection is displayed as a series of stars. To buy the best product, ensure your SPF has the most stars on to gain maximum protection against UVA radiation. Generally speaking, an SPF of 30 and a UVA rating of 4/5 stars is considered as a good standard of protection from the damage that the sun can cause to your skin.
Reapply often throughout the day and be sure to use a new SPF each summer. It is best practice to not use a cream that has either gone past its best before the end of date, or is second hand, as the cream could be ineffective. Also, if it has been opened previously, ensure it is still safe to use. The amount of months it is safe to be used after opening will be displayed on the product, like the example below which means the product can be open for six months before not being fit for purpose. SPF should be stored out of direct sunlight and kept in a cool dry place.
Babies and young children (0-5 year-olds) will need to have their skin protected between March and October in the UK, with children aged under 6-months advised to keep out of direct sunlight. Consider installing a parasol or cover on your buggy to keep your child safe.
Clothing can also be purchased that comes with an SPF. But, be warned, in washing this type of clothing the SPF can be reduced. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance to care of the garment.
Ensure your child’s eyes are protected with sunglasses that meet the British Standard – BSEN 1836:2005.
If your child has sun burn you should seek medical attention as their skin is particularly fragile in the Buy Wise Be Safe age bracket. To avoid sunburn try to encourage your child to play in the shade, like under trees or a parasol, between the hours of 11am and 3pm – which is when the sun is at its strongest.
The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on our skin. But it’s important to remember your child’s skin is much more delicate. Consider giving all children, in the age group Buy Wise Be Safe provides advice for, daily supplements containing the vitamin in the form of drops.