The right sun protection for children

by | 22.06.2023 | Stories

The right sun protection for children

Finally, the warmth lures us out again and it’s time to soak up the sun, have fun, splash around and enjoy the summer. To avoid a rude awakening, the right sun protection is essential. Especially for our children. Since their skin is much thinner and less pigmented, it is particularly vulnerable. As a result, the UV-sensitive stem cells are much closer to the surface and are more strongly reached and damaged by sunlight. The self-protection of children’s skin up to the age of 6 years is only five to ten minutes. Baby’s skin is even more sensitive, because it does not offer any self-protection in the first 12 months of life. It is precisely the shorter-wavelength, high-energy UV-B rays that pose a danger. However, this can be counteracted with the right sun protection.


It is best to let children play in the shade

We give 1st place to shady places. Of course, sunscreen should also be applied here, but the risk of getting sunburn decreases enormously. In addition, small children feel much more comfortable in the shade anyway.

The right sun protection for my child

Before using sunscreens, sprays and lotions, it is now important to choose the right product for your child. Who hasn’t stood in front of the seemingly endless sunscreen shelf in the drugstore and didn’t really know where to grab? After all, the products differ in the type of protective effect, their consistency, their smell, their compatibility, the comfort of application, the child-friendliness and ultimately also the external presentation. Above all, the cream should offer safe protection. For children, never use SPF 30 – but SPF 50 and 50+ is better and safer. By the way, this SPF only ever says something about the protection against the ostensibly dreaded UV-B rays and nothing about the UV-A protection. However, most sunscreens also contain UV-A filters. If you want to be on the safe side, you should pay attention to the UV-A logo . These combined protective filters against both types of radiation comply with the current recommendation of the EU Commission for the protection of children’s skin.

    Mineral or chemical UV filter?

    Sunscreens work in a variety of ways. Either with mineral or chemical UV filters, but the combination of both is also possible. Mineral filters reflect the rays on the skin with a layer of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particles. Sun protection is applied immediately with the application of the cream. Chemical filters, on the other hand, convert UV light into heat. Attention, here the protection is only given after about 20 minutes ! Paediatricians and dermatologists usually recommend mineral sunscreen for particularly sensitive children’s skin, as the risk of allergies is lower here. However, the very thick cream is more difficult to spread and a white film remains on the surface of the skin. Since neither children nor parents are delighted to turn the little bundle of joy into a snowman, manufacturers often add nanoparticles. This makes the cream easier to spread, but nanoparticles have a reputation for entering the child’s body via the skin.

    Children’s sun protection is more suitable

    Most modern children’s sunscreens work with a combination of both types of filters, but without the undesirable hormonal effects that are often suspected with conventional chemical filter components. It is therefore advisable to always choose a product designated for children as a first step. These are also usually “waterproof”, which offers great added value for children. However, “waterproof” does not mean that the cream does not dissolve (about 50 percent of waterproof sunscreen is lost with a 20-minute bath). You just don’t have to reapply as quickly as possible compared to a “normal” sunscreen.

    Our tip for applying sunscreen

    At best, the application of the cream gives pleasure to the little ones. This also makes the creaming parents sweat less. It is therefore nice to combine a little ritual or song with the cream. Children quickly become sun protection allies. Please do not use the cream too sparingly. Two milligrams per square centimeter of skin are recommended. Which means that for a two-year-old child, a large tablespoonful of sunscreen for the whole body is needed to get the full SPF. Info by the way: Adults need about 40 ml, which is equivalent to three tablespoons.


    The complete sun protection package for children

    In addition to good sun protection in the form of cream, we would like to give you the following advice on the way out into the sunshine: Never underestimate the midday sun, prefer shady places and reapply cream regularly. Protect children with airy, light-coloured UV-safe clothing , especially swimwear with UV protection, as the water intensifies the sun’s rays and is usually not creamed under swimwear. A sun hat or cap are indispensable companions to keep everyone cool. The protection can be perfectly rounded off by children’s sunglasses, because children’s eyes are also much more sensitive and should be well protected from direct UV radiation.

    Sunny greetings and until the well-prepared summer reunion with us at Lake Achensee!

    The Hlebaina family