Heading to the beach this summer? Worried about keeping your baby or toddler cool in the sunshine? Infant skin can quickly overheat leaving little ones vulnerable to distress and the sting of prickly heat.
Read on to discover the measures you can put in place to protect your baby from the heat and keep them safe in the sun.
Make a shady spot
It can be challenging to find a shady spot on the beach but because infant skin is vulnerable to UV light, it is important that you avoid exposure to the sun between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00. The sun is at its strongest during these hours and whilst babies aged 6 months and over can tolerate small amounts of sun exposure, young babies should always be kept out of direct sunlight and in the shade.
A great way to guarantee a shady spot on the beach is to invest in a beach umbrella or a pop-up sun shelter with plenty of ventilation. To further protect your baby from the heat, ensure they wear a hat which shades their neck, ears and face, and keep the skin covered with loose-fitting, cotton clothing.
Be shrewd about sun cream
Young skin is thinner and more vulnerable to sunlight than adult skin so extra care should be taken to keep it safe in the sun. Applying a high-factor, broad-spectrum sun lotion will help protect baby’s skin from sunburn, but using sun lotions containing pore-clogging chemical ingredients can leave young skin vulnerable to Miliaria, a skin condition often brought on by the skin overheating.
Commonly known as prickly heat or heat rash, Miliaria is an itchy skin condition which typically develops on the chest, armpits and between the thighs. Characterised by a rash of red spots, it develops when sweat ducts become blocked as a result of a low water intake and/or the use of pore-blocking personal care products, such as waterproof sun lotions.
Maintaining hydration levels and limiting sun exposure can help protect baby from prickly heat, as can applying a non-toxic sun lotion such as Green People’s Organic Children’s Sun Lotion SPF30. Designed for delicate, sensitive skin, this organic formulation delivers effective, water-repellent UVA and UVB protection without the use of chemical or pore-clogging ingredients.
In warm weather we can all be vulnerable to dehydration so make sure you pack plenty of drinks for your beach trip.
Drinking water regularly will also help maintain hydration to reduce infants’ risk of overheating or developing prickly heat.
Have a paddle
First encounters with the sea can be an overwhelming experience for young children but paddling together by the shoreline can be a great way to boost their sea confidence whilst the sea water cools their legs, feet and toes.
REMEMBER: As much as 59% of sun lotion washes off in sea water and for this reason it is important that you always reapply sun lotion after swimming or paddling.
To protect marine life from chemical ingredients, it’s also important to consider using a marine-friendly sun lotion.
Green People avoids the use of chemicals that have been found to cause harm to the marine environment and is proud to help protect our seas and shorelines by donating 20p from the sale of every full size Scent Free Sun Cream to the Marine Conservation Society.
Run a calming post-beach bath
After a day of fun in the sun, gently bathing the skin can both cool and clean the skin. For the perfect post-beach bath follow our 3-step bath routine for babies and children.
- Run the bath and once the water is cool enough, gently bathe the skin and hair using Green People’s Lavender Baby Wash. Designed to naturally bubble, this SLS-free formula contains the plant actives Aloe Vera and Lavender which sooth the skin and help the body to wind down before bed.
- Once the skin is clean, gently pat it dry with a soft, clean towel. Rubbing the skin too hard should be avoided as it can aggravate delicate skin that may be prone to eczema or affected by sun exposure or prickly heat.
- Lastly, apply an Aloe Vera based after sun to the face, hands and body. Gently moisturising, our Organic Children Aloe Vera Lotion is rich in skin healing Aloe Vera and cooling Myrrh to naturally rehydrates young skin after any sun exposure.
What’s your top tip to protect your baby from the heat? Join the conversation on social at @GreenPeopleUK or by commenting in the section below.