It is well known that children should be protected from the harmful rays of the sun by staying in the shade and covering up when the sun is very bright and hot. Here are useful tips to help parents choose and use the best creams to protect children from sun burn.
Children’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Cream
Sun Protection Factor is a guide to measure how good the cream will be at protecting the skin from sun burn. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommends a minimum SPF of 15 for adults, this would mean the person could stay in the sun 15 times longer than without the cream.
On a bright summer day the sun might burn in just 10 minutes, a SPF of 15 would enable someone to stay in the sun for longer, 15 SPF x 10 minutes, that is a total of 150 minutes. The time is only an estimate so it’s sun protection for more than 2 hours.
Children are often outdoors for longer and will need protection even when they are in the shade so it makes sense to use the highest SPF on kids in the hottest, sunniest months. In the UK this will be SPF 50.
It should be noted that kids are at risk from sunburn:
- on bright, cloudy days,
- through thin, wet garments,
- when in the shade if the sun is reflected from surfaces such as sand, water or snow.
Is Sun Tan Cream or Sun Tan Lotion Better for Kids?
Whether it is cream, lotion, mousse or gel is irrelevant, sun screen products offering kids the best protection from the sun feature both:
- the highest SPF, look for SPF 30, 40, or 50+,
- protection from both UVA & UVB rays.
There are such a wide range of skin protection creams and lotions on the market, it can be confusing. The difference between a lotion and a cream is simply the consistency, creams are thicker and lotions are more watery and runny. One or other may be easier to apply, it is simply down to personal choice as to whether lotion or cream is preferred.
The many products do contain different ingredients so if there is a bad skin reaction to one another might be fine. The way the sun screens work will depend on their ingredients.
Choosing & Using Sun Tan Cream Protection for Children
In addition to a high SPF rating and protection from UVA and UVB, an important factor can be getting the children to like the product. Colourful packaging can help to make the product more appealing, as can different textures such as spays and foams.
Coloured sun tan products have been specifically developed for children. The advantage claimed is that it is easier to see if the skin is completely covered and children will be more interested in applying a colourful sun screen.
Sun Screen Protection for Babies & Toddlers
The younger the child the more important it becomes to protect their delicate skin and increasingly they should be kept out of direct sun light. There are high SPF creams developed for use on babies but they should still be kept out of strong sun light.
For babies, toddlers and children of all ages good sun protection can be derived from clothing and sun hats. In addition, eyes should not be neglected, they also need protection from sun damage with 100% UV protective sunglasses for children.
The Best Children’s Sun Screen & Sun Block, SPF 50+
Sun block for kids can be a misleading description, a true sun block are the walls of a building, a cream may let the sun’s rays penetrate the skin and the suns rays are beneficial in moderation. In choosing and using sun screen, parents can:
- let children choose and apply the product (with help);
- select fun, colourful and novelty sun screens;
- apply at least 15 minutes before going into the sun (or on to sand);
- buy sun screen which has a SPF 50+ and provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.