Babies and young children have skin that is more fragile, more sensitive and thinner than adults’ skin.
What this means, is that protecting babies’ and toddlers’ skin in the sun is crucial, given that they are far more prone to suffer both heat stroke and damage from sunburn than adults are.
We chatted to Imane Ben Salem, skincare expert with Bioderma, to get the low-down on how best protect our little ones’ skin in the summer heat.
Here is what she had to say:
How do sunburns happen?
It is not the heat or the light of the sun that burns the skin, but the UV rays produced by it. What this means, is that your skin is at risk of this at all time, be it summer or winter, sunny or cloudy. And your baby’s skin even more so.
Because of this, we recommend keeping babies and children out of the sun in the hours between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is high in the sky, and the UV rays at their strongest.
How do I fully protect my baby’s skin?
Before children get to about one, the natural protective process of a child’s skin is not functional – meaning, of course, it is entirely vulnerable. And this is why we generally recommend not to expose children to the sun until they get to about three years old, but to cover the skin with a hat, protective clothes and UV protection glasses.
Instead, keep babies and young children in protected spots – use a sunshade, stay under a tree at the park or under an umbrella at the beach or by the pool.
Dress babies and young children in protective clothing, swimsuits and special t-shirts, made with sun protection into it, are the perfect outfit to enjoy outdoor activities while protecting your baby’s skin. And of course, never forget the hat.
Use sunscreen correctly
From about one years old, apply sunscreen every two hours – and use a high SPF sun cream such as our Photoderm KID SPF 50+.
Apply the sunscreen in the morning, at least 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours for as long as you are outside. Also, if your kids go for a swim in the pool or the sea, reapply after every swim.
Remember exposed areas
Even if you are taking caution to keep your baby out of the sun and in the shade, remember that exposed parts like hands and feet need to be protected from the sun’s rays. Use high sun protection, and make sure you are applying a sun cream with clean, safe ingredients.
After a day outside, cleanse the sun cream off your baby’s skin with a lovely bath. And remember that the heat, wind and sun can all contribute to baby’s skin feeling a little dry, so use a good hydrating milk or cream, like the Bioderma ABCDerm Hydratant.