SUN PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN

Everybody knows that is important to protect ourselves from the sun. In adults, sunburns are painful, and cause tissue damage that can lead to skin cancer. But in babies, sunburns can be a medical emergency, causing dehydration, high fever, blisters, infections, chills, and heatstroke, not to mention vastly increasing their lifetime skin cancer risk.

Do you know that infants under 6 months of age can’t use any kind of sunscreen and should stay out of the sun? Their skin is too sensitive and the chemicals in sunscreen might penetrate deeper, making newborns more vulnerable to contact dermatitis (skin reactions, like rashes), allergies, or inflammation and because they are especially susceptible to the sun's damaging effects newborns must be in the shade and cloth protected. Also sunscreens are not meant to be ingested, and infants could very well lick them off their fingers or any other reachable body area.

For babies from 6-12 months now is safe to use sunscreen SPF 15 or higher with broad-spectrum to areas left uncovered such as baby's hands. Many companies have tear-free formulas that won't sting baby's eyes. And for Toddlers/Pre-School Age you can look for water resistant sunscreen plus spray-on sunscreens. Remember that Spray sunscreens should not be applied directly to the face; sprays should be misted into the hands, then spread on the face.

TIPS FOR A GREAT DAY OUTDOORS:

  • Make sure that your sunscreen has a protection SPF 15+ against UVB and UVA which is usually indicated by a "broad-spectrum" label.
  • The sunscreens in order to work is necessary to be fully absorbed into the skin so apply it 15 to 30 min before you step into the sun and remember to reapply after swimming or sweat.
  • Avoid combination sunscreens containing insect repellants like DEET. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths.
  • The most commonly missed spots to protect with sunscreen are the temples, ears, back of the neck and top of the feet plus any other body part because our child won't sit still. A big help to fully protect is the sunscreens that contains disappearing colorants so you can target the missing parts easier!
  • Take walks early in the morning before 10 AM or after 4 PM and use a stroller with a sun-protective cover.
  • Dress your child in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs and choose a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet that protects the child's face, neck, and ears.
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car or invest in UV window film, which can screen almost 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation without reducing visibility.

 

               SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Up to 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). And children are more likely to develop allergies if one or both parents have allergies.

Children are magnets for colds. But when the “cold” won’t go away for weeks, the culprit may be allergies.

Long-lasting sneezing, with a stuffy or runny nose, may signal the presence of allergic rhinitis—the collection of symptoms that affect the nose when you have an allergic reaction to something you breathe in and that lands on the lining inside the nose.

If your child has seasonal allergies, you may want to pay attention to pollen counts and try to keep your child inside when the levels are high.

  • In the late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, pollen levels are highest in the morning.
  • In the spring and summer, during the grass pollen season, pollen levels are highest in the evening.
  • Some molds, another allergy trigger, may also be seasonal. For example, leaf mold is more common in the fall.
  • Sunny, windy days can be especially troublesome for pollen allergy sufferers.

It may also help to keep windows closed in your house and car and run the air conditioner when pollen counts are high.