NEWSLETTER - December 2017
Original article by Meg Faure
Summer is around the corner and we are all looking forward to spending more time soaking up the warm rays in the long sunny days. Summer means wonderful new experiences for your baby as you spend more time outdoors and may even go to the beach or swimming pool.
Now the thought of taking your baby near water should bring to mind the critical safety elements one need to consider in summer. Obviously, all babies need to be closely monitored whenever near water. In addition, the long sunny days and water play bring the risk of exposure to the sun.
Why is it important to prevent your baby’s skin from exposure to the sun?
- Exposure to the element has similar effects on baby skin as it does on adult skin but your baby’s skin is considerably thinner and thus more susceptible to dehydration as water is easily lost through her skin.
- Baby and toddler skin also has much less brown pigment (melanin), which protects us from UV light. This means that if a baby gets sunburnt or overly exposed to UV rays, the long-term risk of Melanoma cancers increases dramatically.
- Sunburn is a painful condition and since your baby’s new skin is more susceptible to sunburn, you will want to prevent any chance of this otherwise you will likely have a very bad night’s sleep.
- Exposure to water and swimming pools will cause baby’s skin to dry out quickly and it is therefore necessary to ensure that you moisturize babies skin on a regular basis, even in summer.
So, understanding that sun care is vital, what should you do:
- Do not take your baby outdoors over midday – the reflection off water and ambient sunrays are way too risky to manage well.
- Use multiple measures of protection than relying on one measure over the other. Multiple measures include avoiding the sun wherever possible, the use of long sleeve garments that are lightweight and sun hats together with sun cream.
- Protect your baby by staying under a shade
- Use a well-researched baby-friendly sun cream and be vigilant with reapplying. On this point, remember that because your baby’s skin is thinner than your skin it is more likely to absorb ingredients from sun creams so carefully consider using a reputable brand, who test their products and do not use harmful ingredients.
- For babies less than 6 months, protect them by avoiding the sun, clothing them well, use sun hats and stay under the shade.
- Do not apply sun cream to a baby who is less than 6months as their skin is still sensitive.
- You can apply sun cream on the skin of a baby who is 6months and above but try a certain area first for example the back of the hand as a test sign. If the child does not react to the cream, you can continue use.
- Your baby’s delicate skin loses moisture 5 x faster than adult skin, in conjunction with adequate sun protection it is essential to follow a regular moisturizing routine.