Many of us may trust the sunscreen a little too much. – Remember that sunscreen is just a supplement to clothes and shade, says an expert.
When the sun rises and the summer heat strikes, both young and old will go out to enjoy the welcome rays.
But staying in the sun for a long time and getting sunburned is harmful, and especially children need extra protection.
Many people probably think that applying sunscreen lasts a long time, but does it really do that?
No, is the clear message from the experts. Not enough sunscreen alone
- Even if you use sunscreen on children, they should also be protected in other ways. In any case, children under the age of six months should not be exposed to direct sunlight and should therefore mainly be protected in other ways.
This is what Berit Granum, senior researcher at the Department of Environment and Health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), says.
- You can wear clothes that cover and protect, stay in the shade and wear sunglasses on the children. It is important to also protect the eyes in the sunshine, she continues.
She elaborates that this is especially important at the time of day when the rays are strongest, between approx. at 12 and 15.
- In general, babies should be protected with light clothing and shade and for older children, good full-coverage swimsuits and beachwear can be used to advantage, says the superior and adds:
- Remember that sunscreen is just a supplement to clothes and shade. And sun breaks are important, especially in the middle of the day. Children’s skin more sensitive The reason for the importance of protecting children’s skin is that they do not have as robust skin as us adults.
- Children have thinner and more sensitive skin. They also more often have thin hair so that the scalp is exposed, and not body hair either, says Bachmann.
She adds that children with darker pigmentation, however, tolerate sunlight better than children with light skin.
On skin areas that cannot be protected with clothing, sunscreen will be needed. The high factor is important, preferably 30-50.
It is recommended to buy sunscreen at a pharmacy, and feel free to buy a product adapted for children.
- These products usually have high protection, from a factor of 30 and up, and the content of additives is approved by the Norwegian authorities, says Bachmann.
If the child has sensitive skin, you may want to try the sunscreen on a small area of skin first, to see if the child tolerates the cream.
The baby should be lubricated 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun so that the cream has time to soak properly into the skin. Lubricate abundantly and evenly, and several times during the time the child is in the sun. Should use sunscreen intended for children Granum says that we find two types of sunscreen on the market.
- In sunscreen, we can distinguish between physical and chemical filters and in children’s sunscreen it is physical filters that are most used, the researcher says.
These are small particles that settle on the outside of the skin and reflect away the sun. You will also find creams with a combination of chemical and physical filters.
The researcher emphasizes that the content of the sunscreens available in Norway is well regulated and the safety of these has been carefully assessed.
- Nevertheless, I recommend that you use the sunscreens that are intended for children as these should be adapted to children’s skin. Among other things, these products are rarely perfumed. Perfumed products can cause contact allergies, she explains.
Bachmann agrees that the products you buy for children should be fragrance-free.
- And they should be able to withstand exposure to water in connection with swimming. The application must also be repeated approx. every other hour, she suggests.
Sunburn can cause skin cancer
Most of us have sunburned one or more times in our lives and may think that it is only part of the summer.
But there are many reasons why one should be careful in the sun.
– Poor sun protection on children’s skin will cause sun damage, sunburn, and increased risk of skin cancer, which is the most dangerous side effect of solar radiation, says Granum.
Bachmann is also concerned with bringing out the dangers of being burned.
– First and foremost, it is painful and uncomfortable to be sunburned. In severe cases, blisters and peeling of the skin may occur, and the child may feel unwell with a mild fever. Some children also get sun eczema, which stings and itches, says Bachmann and adds:
– Excessive tanning leads to uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, and damaged skin. It has also been shown that repeated episodes of sunburn in childhood and adolescence increase the risk of skin cancer later in life, she concludes.