Get the fun out of summer without the harmful effects, writes Kate Kelly
Summer is here and there is nothing more exciting than heading to the local park with your baby or tot in blissful sunshine or better yet, setting course for foreign climes to relax on the beach or by the pool.
No matter where you are though, you need to protect your baby soft, delicate skin from the damaging rays of the sun – and that counts even when you are home in Ireland. Just one incidence of sunburn in childhood, can increase your child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
That doesn’t mean you have to lock the kids inside or only let them out in a spacesuit. With P&Ps must-have summer guide, you can get all the fun out of summer without the harmful effects!
Play it safe
If your baby is under 12 months of age, the best thing you can do to protect her tender, young skin is to keep her out of the sun altogether.
Timing is everything
Try to make sure thate the whole family is out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the suns rays are at their strongest. This is particularly important for babies and toddlers.
Slip, slop, slap
Let’s face it, keeping toddlers and older kids inside during the summer months is going to be very difficult and absolutely impossible when you are on holidays, even in those danger afternoon hours. The solution? Total sunblock of at least SPF 20 (a cream that will block out both UVA and UVB radiation) applied to all exposed areas.
Your baby can become dehydrated a lot quicker than an adult and will probably find it much more difficult to acclimatise to hotter weather. If you are taking your baby out and about for more than 30 minutes or are heading to the beach, make sure that you have plenty of water readily available.
The eye’s the limit
Your child’s eyes need to be protected from the sun just as much as his skin. A good pair of sunglasses will prevent any long-lasting damage to eyes, so it is worth investing in a decent pair.
Here’s how you can help your baby if he is suffering from the effects of the sun:
This is quite common in babies during hot weather. You might notice a faint red rash on his groin or on the bridge of his nose and he will be irritable and hot and bothered.
If your child is exposed to too much sun, he may become rapidly dehydrated. Sunstroke is dangerous and symptoms include; a high temperature (over 37˚C/98.6˚F); vomiting; and lethargy or drowsiness.
Its important to note that no matter where you are you need to protect your baby’s soft, delicate skin from the damaging rays of the sun.
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