Sun and heat

Protect children from sun and heat0-6 years cc by-nc-nd The text on this page is copyrighted unless otherwise noted and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3 license.0 Germany. Please note our instructions for use.

With just a few precautions, children can enjoy sunny weather to the fullest. However, direct sunlight is taboo for babies.

Sun and heat

Children's skin is very sensitive

The skin of infants and young children is particularly sensitive – also and especially when it comes to UV radiation. Because it is still very thin, and the skin's own UV protection still has to develop in the first years of life. At the same time, children also need as much opportunity as possible to let off steam and exercise outdoors. So, by their very nature, they are particularly exposed to UV radiation.

But if you observe a few "rules of conduct" and your child becomes familiar with important protective measures – also through your example – you can effectively prevent the harmful effects of the sun and thus long-term sun damage.

Therefore, pay attention to the UV index on site. It provides information about the current strength of the sun's radiation (UV component). Provides good guidance for sun protection measures. A UV index of 1 or 2 is considered harmless, from 3 or more a UV index of 2 is considered harmless. 4 sun protection is necessary.

No ifs, ands or buts: sun protection for children

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The skin of babies and toddlers is particularly sensitive to the sun. The most important tips for effective sun protection.

Shade is the order of the day in the first year of life

During the first twelve months of life, a child should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all:

– Make sure that your baby does not get any blazing sun and always has a shady place to lie down. – Even with sun protection, such as an umbrella or canopy, avoid the blazing sun so that your child does not become overheated. – Sunscreens should not be used in the first year of life, if possible, because they unnecessarily stress the sensitive baby skin. – Baby oil is not a sunscreen, but it still promotes the skin's sensitivity to light. – To compensate for fluid loss in hot weather, breastfed babies should be put on more often and mothers should drink more. From about one year old children should be offered water.

The simplest and at the same time most effective sun protection is provided by shady places and sun appropriate clothing, and especially during the stronger midday sun it is better to take a break.

Even when the sky is overcast, caution is still called for, because up to 80 percent of UV radiation still penetrates to the skin even then.

Clothing suitable for the sun

The most effective protection – in addition to shady places – is provided by sun-friendly clothing “from head to toe”:

– The head, especially also the face, neck and ears are very sensitive. Make sure that your child always wears a hat, cap or scarf with an umbrella and neck protection when in the sun. Sunglasses suitable for children should not be missing. – Clothing should be airy, not too tight, and cover as much of the body as possible. Long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts and loose-fitting, preferably long pants are ideal. – Not all fabrics are sun-proof. There are now T-shirts, shirts and pants whose fabrics offer special UV protection through special weaving techniques or impregnation. These should comply with the “UV Standard 801. The UV protection factor (UPF) should be at least 30. When splashing or swimming, shoulders are. Backs are best protected by a T-shirt. However, cotton T-shirts that are not tightly woven do not provide adequate protection. Let UV rays through especially when wet. So the fabric should either be very tightly woven or preferably with a UV protection factor. Shoes should cover the foot – including the heel. Cover the back of the feet – as much as possible.

Use sunscreens correctly on children

In addition to textile sun protection, all parts of the body that are not protected, such as hands, face, backs of feet, should be protected by sunscreens. However, frequent application of sunscreen and a high sun protection factor should not tempt children to play in the blazing sun or in the sun for long periods of time.

– In the first year of life, sunscreens should be avoided as far as possible because of the baby's sensitive skin. – Use only sunscreens specially designed for children. Creams and lotions dry out children's skin less than gels, for example. The sunscreen should be UV-A-. Block UV-B rays with a sun protection factor of 30. There are mineral. Chemical sunscreens. If you are unsure about choosing the right sunscreen for your child, ask your pediatrician or. consult your pediatrician. – Carefully apply cream to all uncovered areas of the body before going out – ideally about half an hour beforehand. – Be sure to apply enough sunscreen, otherwise the SPF will not be effective. – Apply cream repeatedly to the skin during longer stays outdoors. Since the sunscreen is worn off by sweating and abrasion, this repeated application is necessary to maintain protection. However, this does not extend the protection time of the product as indicated by the sun protection factor.

The risk of sunburn is particularly high when swimming, splashing or playing near water. This applies even if the skin's own UV filters have already developed. Some components of the natural protective screen (such as the skin's own urocanic acid) are in fact water-soluble. Wash out within a short time during bathing. Use a sunscreen for stays at the. In the water especially waterproof sunscreens. – Renew the sun protection after every bathing.

Vacations in the sun: questions and answers with basic "sun rules

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UV exposure is often particularly high in vacation regions in the mountains or by the sea. Answers to concerned parents' questions.

Eyes also need protection from the sun

Not only the skin needs special protection, the eyes are also particularly sensitive to sunlight and UV rays. Extreme UV-B exposure, for example during longer stays in high mountains – especially in snow – can lead to painful inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva.

– Therefore, make sure that your child's eyes are protected by appropriate headgear with a sunshade or by sunglasses with a UV filter, especially in the mountains or at the seaside. Children learn mainly by imitation. Also like to emulate their adult role models in their behavior. Your child will learn all the more easily to protect themselves from the risks of the sun, too, if you set a good example as a parent. Protect yourself, for example, by not spending too much time in direct sunlight and by wearing appropriate clothing and headgear. (status: 14.2.2021)

The text on this page is copyrighted and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 3 unless otherwise noted.0 Germany . Please follow our instructions for use.


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