We’ve joined forces with Cancer Council to provide Babyology readers with some important SunSmart tips for kids.
A big mistake is deciding whether sunscreen is needed by merely looking at the outdoor temperature. I’m guilty of this myself, so it’s important to remember to think UV, not heat because children can still be burnt on a mild day without a blazing sun. An easy way to find out your local UV rating is by using the SunSmart app. I’ve just added it to my phone to guide me and the incorporated Sunscreen Calculator is an eye opener too – there will be no more skimping on the application.
When packing children off to school, be sure they have a hat and are wearing at least SPF 30 (or higher) broad spectrum sunscreen. It’s important for children to learn how to apply their own sunscreen properly so they’re able to do it even if there isn’t an adult to help them. Remember, not all schools supply sunscreen to students, so be sure to have a named sunscreen tube in their school bag and to check it regularly. We love the Invisible Zinc Junior 30+, priced $12.99 at Chemist Warehouse for its handy clip-on capabilities and the Nivea Kids 50+ Sun Spray, priced $11.99 from Chemist Warehouse – it helpfully sprays on green and rubs in clear.
Should your child have a reaction to sunscreen, a sunscreen allergy is very rare and it is far more likely to be a sensitivity to the additives within the sunscreen rather than the sun protective properties. The Cancer Council recommends you try another sunscreen (possibly one designed for sensitive skin) if a reaction does occur.
Another myth getting around is that sunscreen is dangerous to a person’s health because it’s full of chemicals. This simply isn’t true, there is no definitive evidence to show sunscreen use is a health risk. The Cancer Council says it would not recommend the use of sunscreen if there was any doubt about its safety. For babies and toddlers we suggest you use a suncare product designed especially for them, such as Milk Protect Me + Sunscreen, priced $19.95 from Urban Baby or Little Innoscents organic Natural Sun Lotion 30+ UVA/UVB, priced $19.99.
Finally, applying sunscreen is only part of the battle – it’s always wise to avoid the hottest part of the day if you can, wear hats (like this cute one below from Haveli Design) and light sun protective clothing, seek shade and remember a pair of sunglasses to protect the eyes. For more information on all things sunscreen related or being sun smart, head to the Cancer Council Australia website.