Last updated on Oct 9th, 2019 at 01:06 pm

The lowdown on keeping your little ones safe in the sun

Summer is just around the corner – and so are long, happy days in the sun!

However, nothing kills the ‘fun in the sun’ vibe quite like sun-burnt children.

Whether your kids are headed to the beach, splashing around in the backyard pool or just playing in the garden, sunscreen is a must…

… that’s because young skin is much thinner than adults’ and therefore more susceptible to sun damage (a risk factor for skin cancer).

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Childs Farm dermatologist Dr Jennifer Crawley shares the following tips on keeping your children safe in the sun:

  1. Apply sun cream 20 to 30 minutes before going outside
  2. Make sure that you’re applying enough sun cream – don’t skimp on it
  3. Don’t forget to put sun cream on those hidden places like behind the ears, and on the neck, shoulders and tops of feet
  4. Reapply every couple of hours – people often forget to do this – and always after swimming
  5. Try to stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day, between 11 and 3 o’clock
  6. Dress your little one in a sun hat, sunglasses and loose, breathable clothing.

What about babies under six months?

Babies’ skin is particularly sensitive, so keep them out of direct sunlight all the time if they’re under six months old. When your baby’s over six months, do a patch test before you try a new sun cream.

Don’t forget that cute sun hat to protect their head!

How else can you protect your children in the sun?

The Eyecare Trust recommends that children wear proper, UV-protecting sunglasses, not toy sunglasses, to protect their eyes from the sun.

If you’re heading to the beach with your kids, you can buy long-sleeved sun protection suits that block UV rays – meaning that you only have to apply sun cream to the areas of your child’s body that aren’t covered – which will definitely help win the war of applying sunscreen to a wriggly toddler!