Hands up if you’re a bit slack about kids and sunscreen? I am, even though I should know better. Aside from underestimating the power of the sun, I always think the kids aren’t out in it for very long. Of course on a day like yesterday they were in the sun all day long so today I’m on a mission to slap sunscreen on at regular intervals.
Recent studies show that despite all the evidence that kids need suncream, many parents like me, just save sunscreen/sunblock for holidays abroad. Even then we don’t apply enough and even use the wrong sun protection factor. The key message from experts is as soon as the sun starts to shine kids need sunscreen. This is because too much sun is particularly harmful to young children (babies under six months should be kept out of the sun), and protecting them significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.
As for sun protection this doesn’t just mean using sunscreen but keeping small kids out of the sun at the hottest part of the day (12 – 2pm) protecting them with natural shade and encouraging them to wear hats, shirts and other protective clothing when in very hot conditions (like today). For older kids it’s also about reminding them to drink water, and take a rest when they feel hot and bothered.
As for what to buy – any sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays) is water resistant and has an SPF of at least 15 is good. Top picks for us are Nivea Kids Swim and Play SPF 50 £7.24 from Boots, and Sudocrem’s Sunscreen Mousse for Children and Babies SPF 50 £15 also from Boots.