Gentle Sun Cream for Babies & Children
Natural sun cream for delicate young skin
Children's skin is far more sensitive than adults; we have to even more careful about exposing them to sunlight.
Green People offers Lavender and Scent-Free SPF25 Sun Lotions especially for babies
and children and these can be used from 6 months onwards. They offer broad-spectrum protection that filters out both UVA and UVB, and are both also water-resistant formulations.
As with all sun lotions, apply liberally at least 30 minutes before exposure to
the sun to give the filter time to become active. Also, remember to re-apply regularly,
and especially after bathing.
View our children's sun creams
Sun care for babies and children: tips for parents
Newborn babies should not be exposed to sunlight at
all until they are at least 6 months old. After that age, and depending on their
skin type, short periods of unprotected exposure lasting just a couple of minutes
at a time may be introduced.
Other than for these brief moments, all other sun exposure for babies must be carefully
controlled and must not be allowed to take place without some protection. As with
adults, keep the skin covered with light clothing, although bear in mind that UV
radiation can pass through thin materials, especially if they are wet. Make sure they wear a wide-rimmed sun hat that shades the neck, ears and face - the best ones have ribbons attached so they can be tied under the chin.
Alternatively, use a parasol for protection. Use a broad-spectrum sun cream that filters out both UVA and UVB radiation.
As children become older and more active it becomes even more important to keep
applying sun lotions especially if they are in and out of water in a pool or at
the seaside. Again, keeping covered with a light T-shirt will help, but don't forget
to apply lotion underneath to prevent burning.
If you are in a hot climate, try to copy the locals and take a break in the heat
of the day. Babies and children soon adapt to the idea of a Siesta and by avoiding
the heat of the day they are often happier and less irritable.
As your children grow up, try and encourage them to assume some of the responsibility
for ensuring they are safe in the sun. Give them their own bottle of sun-lotion
and show them how and when to use it - soon it will become a habit that will protect
them for the rest of their lives.
Protecting young skin from the sun
No-one can have failed to notice all the publicity that has been given to the dangers
of exposure to sunlight over the last couple of years. Most of the advice that has
appeared in the press relates to adults and teenagers - people who can generally
be expected to take some responsibility for their own health. But what about babies
and young children - what advice should parents follow to ensure that they avoid
the pitfalls of too much sun exposure?
Before looking at what parents should and shouldn't do, we need to understand the
reasons that too much sun can be bad for us. For this we need a little physics and
Sunlight consists of a wide range of different wavelengths of radiation. Some of
these we can sense - the warmth we feel in sunlight comes from Infra-Red radiation,
and the light we can see comes from radiation in the visible spectrum. There are
other wavelengths in sunlight that we can't see, and chief among these are those
in the Ultra Violet group. There are at least three different types of Ultra-Violet
radiation and these are generally referred to as UVA, UVB and UVC.
UVC has the shortest wavelength and although it is
potentially very harmful to our skin, it is completely filtered out by the earth's
atmosphere and so does not affect us.
UVB Radiation - B for Burning
UVB radiation plays a key role in the development of skin cancer as well
as skin ageing. It causes the appearance of a tan after sun exposure. It does this by stimulating the formation of the pigment 'melanin' in the deeper layers of the skin. Melanin acts as a skin protector by filtering out UV light - it is in fact part of our natural defence against sun damage.
UVA Radiation - A for Ageing
UVA radiation is potentially the most damaging form of UV as it penetrates deep into the skin where it can cause changes to the living cells in the basal layer. It is now understood that these changes to living skin cells are the primary cause of the most serious forms of skin cancer.
UVA also damages collagen and elastin, the main causes of wrinkles and premature ageing in skin that is often
exposed to sunlight.
The general advice given to adults who are going to be exposed to sunlight can be
summed up in the now famous Australian adage of 'Slip, Slop, Slap' - Slip on a Shirt,
Slop on a Hat, Slap on some sun cream. Clearly, all three of these actions are designed
to reduce exposure to sunlight and therefore minimise the risks involved.
Further advice is to avoid exposure to the sun when it as its strongest - between
mid-day and three in the afternoon. When you think about it, this is the traditional
time when many Mediterranean countries have lunch followed by a Siesta - both taken
indoors thereby avoiding the worst effects of the sun.
What about Sun creams?
All sunscreens carry a Sun Protection Factor,
usually abbreviated to SPF. This is followed by a number: 15, 25, 50, etc. But what does
this mean to the user?
The higher the SPF value, the longer the user will be able to stay in
the sun without visibly burning. As an example, if someone would normally start
to burn after 5 minutes in the sun when unprotected, by using an SPF15 sun-cream
they should be able to stay out for 75 minutes without visibly burning.
However, the SPF rating of a sun lotion only tells you the protection it gives against UVB rays. Under new EU legislation, sun lotions must also offer protection against the more damaging UVA rays equal to at least one third of the claimed protection against UVB rays. This can be difficult to achieve using natural UV filters, but Green People’s sun lotions have always provided protection against both UVB and UVA rays and therefore comply with the new EU recommendations.
Allergies to sun lotions
Rates of eczema and allergies amongst children continue to rise and early introduction of 'toxic skin care products' may be a contributing factor.
It is known that up to 60% of any substance applied to your child's skin may be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. Many of today's sun lotions contain a cocktail of synthetic chemicals such as:
Parabens, Petrochemicals, PABA-sunscreen, Urea, PEGs, DEA, TEA, irritating emulsifiers, synthetic colours and perfume
If your child is sensitive to sun lotion, avoid products that contain these chemicals nasties and choose organic and natural sun protection instead.
Does your child suffer with prickly heat?
Prickly heat is an irritating red rash that appears on the skin after sun exposure. Problems like this are aggravated by the use of waterproof sun lotions with ingredients that prevent the skin from breathing.
The first way to reduce prickly heat is to reduce the amount your child sweats. This can be achieved by simple measures such as:
• Staying in the shade
• Wearing only loose-fitting, cool clothes
• Showering in cool water regularly
• Avoiding exercise in hot weather
• Drinking more water than usual
You can also help your child's skin by avoiding waterproof sun lotions and choosing instead ones that let their skin breathe naturally. Our sun creams are suitable for children with prickly heat.
- Avoid all sun exposure under 6 months of age
- Always provide some form of protection from the sun
- Wear a wide-brimmed sun hat, preferably tied on
- Use a broad-spectrum sun Lotion that filters both UVA and UVB radiation
- Apply at least 30 minutes before sun exposure
- Reapply frequently, and especially after bathing
- Avoid the heat of the day between noon and 3:00pm
View our children's sun creams
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