Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to be exposed to too much sun. Their skin requires protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.
Children have skin up to 5 times thinner than adults, making it more delicate regardless of skin tone. With lower levels of melanin, children risk sun damage that can accumulate over time. The lighter their natural skin colour, the less melanin they have to absorb UV rays and protect themselves. Even darker skin needs protection from UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin layer. It’s crucial to understand that sunburn is not as visible on darker skin compared to lighter skin turning red.
Excessive UV exposure can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage, and skin cancer. Sunburn occurs when the amount of UV exposure exceeds the protective capacity of melanin. The longer someone stays in the sun and the stronger the sunlight, the greater the risk of damage. It’s important to note that a tan is a sign of skin damage and should not be mistaken as protection for further sun exposure.
Research has shown that UV exposure during a person’s first 18 years of life is critical for developing skin damage and ageing that can lead to cancer. Every additional decade of overexposure to UV increases the risk of melanoma. Therefore, using sun protection consistently at any age can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Hey Moms and Dads! Sun protection goes beyond bottles of sunscreen. There are many ways to safeguard your child’s skin throughout the year.
Turning pink? The sun’s UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes. However, it can take up to 12 hours for the full effects of sun exposure to become apparent. If your child’s skin appears “a little pink” today, it may be severely burned by tomorrow morning. To prevent further burning, remove your child from the sun.
Tan? Let’s be clear: tanned skin is damaged skin. Any change in your child’s skin color after spending time outside, whether it’s sunburn or a suntan, indicates UV damage.
Cool and cloudy? Children still need protection. The skin damage is caused by UV rays, not the temperature. Clouds only filter UV rays slightly; they do not block them entirely. Be cautious as kids often get sunburned when they are outdoors for longer than expected. Plan ahead and keep sun protection readily available in your car, bag, or child’s backpack. Parents, help your children play it safe and protect their skin.
Role modelling: You’re an essential role model. Children imitate those around them and learn by imitation. When adults adopt sun protection behaviours, the children under their care are likelier to do the same.
Knowing the UV index for the day gives you an advantage. Understanding the risk level helps you plan activities in shaded areas or indoors. It also guides you on how to dress your child. Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun when UV levels reach 3 or higher.
Remember to implement the combination of 5 sun protection measures
– slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide.
- Slip on clothing with UPF protection to cover the skin.
- Slop on sunscreen with SPF30 or higher, offering UVA protection, broad-spectrum coverage, and water resistance. Avoid sunscreen sprays unless you spray into your hand and rub it on. Apply generously and reapply frequently.
- Slap on a sun-protective hat.
- Seek shade. Throughout the day, scattered and reflected UV can be as harmful as direct UV from the sun. Even when your child is in the shade, UV rays can still reach them.
- Slide on sunglasses.
Sunscreen is not exclusively for the beach; it’s essential for everyday life! Whether your child is playing in the garden or enjoying ice cream in the sun, sun protection is always important.
Developing skin cancer usually takes several years, but starting sun protection from an early age is vital. By discussing the importance of sun protection and establishing a sun-safe routine early on, applying sunscreen can become as natural as brushing your teeth.
Give your child’s skin superpowers with EVY:
- Creates a durable and long-lasting membrane in the skin.
- Pure formula with UVA & UVB filters developed for sensitive skin, leaving no white cast or residue.
- Maximum UVA protection, blocking over 90% of UVA rays.
- EVY’s products for children are perfume-free, very waterproof, and free of nanoparticles.
- All EVY products are extra mild, suitable for the whole family, including individuals with skin cancer who want to avoid antioxidants.