Nothing generates more collective excitement than the start of summer, with its promise of long days in the sun and endless fun for all the family. When it comes to protecting your little bundles of joy from the damaging effects of our Australian sun however, the Spring & Summer months can provide a bit of a challenge.
Even for myself, having experienced it all, being a parent and trying the protect my offspring from the sun wasn’t always a very pleasurable activity.
From arguments about not wanting to wear sticky sunscreen to trying to keep your child protected as they jump in and out of the pool or ocean, effective sun protection can feel like an impossible task at times.
At Elves in the Wardrobe, however we believe that you and your kids should be able to enjoy the sun without having to worry constantly.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide for you, so you can easily protect your children from the sun and get on with enjoying the hotter time of the year.
1. Keep Babies Covered
Babies have very delicate skin which is both thinner and contains less melanin than the skin of older children and adults.
This means that babies’ skin is much more susceptible to sun damage.
Many sunscreens designed for children say that they are suitable for children over six months in age and this is because children under that age should be kept out of direct sunlight.
If you’re going to have a new baby this summer, it is important that your pram has an appropriate sunshade and that you keep your little one covered with a hat & long, loose organic clothing, that allow airflow and don’t overheat the baby.
All of French Eco kids fashion label poudre organic’s range is made from organic muslin cotton.
Organic cotton muslin offers unrivalled comfort with softness, superior moisture drawing, temperature control and extraordinary breathability. A naturally light fabric, it allows for maximum airflow which makes it the perfect fabric for the hotter months.
Always trying to keep in mind, exposing your baby to the sun may increase their risk of skin cancer later in life.
2. Encourage Play in the Shade
One of the best ways to protect children of any age (and adults as well!) from the sun is to keep them in the shade.
This is particularly true between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest and can cause the most damage. Encouraging children to play in the shade is a good way of protecting them from sun damage while they enjoy playing outdoors during the hot summer months.
There’s plenty of fun to be had under the trees!
Sunscreen is recommend to be used from any age to protect the parts, like their tiny hands and faces, that you can’t cover up.
Pick one specially formulated to reduce the chance of irritation (just test on small patch of skin first).
Choosing the right sunscreen is a really important step when it comes to protecting your children from the sun. As children have delicate skin, you should choose a organic formula that has been created specifically for babies & children, without harsh chemicals that could cause irritation.
You should always use sunscreen with an SPF 50+ the highest allowed under the Australian Standard, with a broad range UVA and UVB cover. It is also good to use a kids’ sunscreen that is water resistant, like Goddess Garden organics Baby Natural Sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about the SPF being affected when they are getting sweaty, swimming in the pool, or towelling dry. You should reapply sunscreen every 2-4 hours as directed on the bottle and after swimming or towelling.
4. Sensitive Skin
Children’s skin is more delicate than ours and it’s important that you take this into account when choosing a sunscreen. Sunscreens that contain chemical absorbers, lanolin, fragrance or colour are more likely to irritate your children’s skin or cause a reaction. You should check the label for these ingredients, and any others that you know your child is allergic to. It is best to choose a sunscreen like Little Innoscents Natural Mum & Baby Sun Lotion, which is designed for children’s sensitive skin and has an easy-to-apply formula to soothe as it protects.
Instead try our lovely zinc based sunscreen with soothing Vitamin E, Organic Green Tea, Cucumber and Rosehip extract with no Nano-particles making it a wonderful alternative to many synthetic products on the market. And best of all it retails for only $19.99 for 100mls.
5. Cover up (Even in the Pool!)
Sunscreen is a good way to protect children from the sun, but nothing is more effective than covering up. Dark coloured clothing with a tight weave will block out a large percentage of the sun’s UV rays, giving your child significant protection against sun damage. German Eco kids fashion label loud+proud designed a small swimsuit range with a UPF protection 50+ and the fabric is made from reprocessed nylon waste fibers.
So it not only protects your little ones while having a beach & pool adventure but it is also great for the planet!
Whenever possible, you should keep your children covered up in long-sleeved, loose clothing. This is true of any prolonged sun exposure; even if your children are swimming they should cover up with organic shirt. Don’t forget about a hat and sunglasses either! Protecting your child’s eyes from sun damage is just as important as preventing visible sunburn.
6. Safety at School
Many parents are very conscientious about keeping their child protected from the sun at home and on holiday during the summer months, but do you know if your child is protected at school? You should talk to your kids & teachers about the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy, and reapplying it at school. Many sunscreens come in small sizes, or even roll-on packaging, that can be easily slipped into a schoolbag for effective sun protection all day.
Wishing you all a wonderful Summer Time.