Sun Safety for Kids

According to Government statistics, 51% of Brits who are wearing suntan lotion are leaving themselves unprotected against harmful UV rays by using expired sunscreen.

As we make our way through what could become our hottest summer on record, or at least one of the top 10 warmest summers on record, it’s important for the health and wellbeing of employees that they know how to stay safe in the sun.

Since children’s skin is more sensitive than ours, it’s vital that you also protect your little ones from the sun. So here are our top 5 tips on sun safety for kids.

Use broad-spectrum sun cream

Hand squeezing sun cream into another hand from a bottle

We all know that the highest factor sun cream is the best. They should be a minimum of SPF 30, with SPF 50 recommended for children.

However, SPF only protects against UVB rays, the ones that cause visible sun damage. UVA rays are present all year round, even when it’s not sunny, and penetrate deeper into the skin.

When choosing a sun cream for your children, look for a star rating as well as an SPF rating on the bottle. 5 stars mean that it will offer maximum protection against UVA rays. These are called broad-spectrum sun creams.

Getting it on them

Child reacting to sun cream being put on her face

We can probably all remember at least one point in our childhood when we gave our parents a run for their money while they tried to put suntan lotion on us.

It’s not the most comfortable process, but there are easier ways to get it on than just smearing it from head to toe!

Child-friendly sun cream products often have easy-application bottles. Sprays will distribute more evenly and can be done from a relative distance! Getting the kids to draw on themselves with the cream can also turn it into a game

You don’t have to spend more on a special kids’ sun cream though. Some of the highest-rated in a recent Which? Survey were supermarkets' own brands.

Keeping it on them

Boy and girl playing in a swimming pool on inflatables

While you might have managed to get it on them once, it’s vital that you keep them topped up.

If they are on the beach or by the pool, chances are that they’ll be in and out of the water. While waterproof suntan lotions are available, they don’t guarantee protection.

You should use at least two tablespoons of sun cream but the more the better. Apply it at least half an hour before they go outside and reapply every two hours or as soon as they come out of the water.

Protecting babies

Baby playing in the sand with a bucket on the beach

Baby skin is extremely sensitive so you should avoid using sunscreen that contains chemicals the skin can absorb.

Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight and avoid sun cream altogether. Use clothing and shade as the main form of protection.

Keep them covered

Baby boy and girl face to face wearing hats on the beach

While sun creams are important, there are plenty of other ways to keep your children safe in the sun.

  • Stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm
  • Dress them in loose clothing that covers exposed areas
  • Choose wide-brimmed hats that cover their face, ears and neck
  • Get them sunglasses from the age of six months and check the label for British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005) and the CE mark

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Educating your staff and their families on the importance of sun safety for kids is just one of the ways our occupational health services can support your business.

Get in touch today and find out how we can help.

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Categories: EmployeesHealth & WellbeingHealth WiseSupport

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