Safety: Sun protection

published on: 05th june, 2020

Summer in the UAE is the most difficult time of the year. Uncovered and exposed parts of the body are not good idea on the open air, cause even naked shoulders are instantly get heat stroke. It is necessary to drink as much water as possible. In mid-summer daytime temperatures reach their maximum, +48,5 °C. In August.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause sunburn, skin damage, eye damage and also skin cancer.

You can protect your child from the sun by teaching them to become Sun Smart and always using sun protection when UV levels are 3 or higher. It is also important to model good sun protection habits, as children learn by observing their parents' and caregivers' behavior.

Sun protection times
UV radiation isn't like the sun's light or heat, which we can see and feel. Even on a cool day, UV can damage our skin without us realizing, which is why it is important not to rely on temperature to decide whether sun protection is needed. UV levels are usually 3 or higher from mid-August. UV levels are most intense during the middle of the day so if possible, try to save trips to the playground, park or beach for early morning and late afternoon.

    Slip on clothing to cover skin
  • Put on clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that won't make your child too hot.
    Slop on sunscreen
  • Use SPF30 or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen on your child's face, arms, hands
  • and any other skin that is not covered.
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
  • Sunscreen does not completely block out all UV radiation and should never be the only method of sun protection.
  • The widespread use of sunscreen on babies under six months old is not recommended.
    Slap on a hat
  • Choose a hat that shades your child's face, back of the neck, eyes and ears, and is a suitable size for your child's head.
  • Broad-brimmed, Legionnaire or bucket hats are best. Baseball caps and visors are not recommended.
    Seek shade
  • Try to use shade whenever possible. If you can, choose a shady place for your child to play,
  • such as under a tree, shade sail or umbrella.
  • UV radiation can burn even when you are in the shade, so it is important you and your child also wear sunscreen,
  • a hat and appropriate clothing.
    Slide on sunglasses
  • Sunglasses are labelled with protection category ratings, which indicate how well they protect the eyes from UV radiation
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses that are labelled category 2, 3 or 4. Category 1 or 0 sunglasses do not provide
  • enough UV protection.
  • A soft elastic strap will help to keep sunglasses in place for babies and toddlers.

Sun protection for dark skin
it is important to keep in mind that all sun exposure carries a risk of skin and eye damage and also skin cancer. While some sun exposure is necessary for the production of vitamin D, extended and deliberate sun exposure without any form of sun protection when the UV index is 3 or above is not recommended, even for those diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. If you are concerned about your child's vitamin D levels, or you think they are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, you should talk to your doctor

Sunscreen and babies
Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun when UV levels reach 3 or higher. Dermatologists does not recommend the widespread use of sunscreen on infants under six months. Protection such as shade, clothing and broad-brimmed hats are the best protection for infants, with sunscreen used on very small areas of skin. Some parents worry about their child's skin reacting to sunscreen. There are many sunscreens made for babies or toddlers that are gentle on sensitive skin. Test the sunscreen on a small area of your child's skin to make sure they don't have a reaction.

Treatment for sunburn
Children can get sunburnt in as little as ten minutes, and depending on the severity, it can take a few days or weeks to heal. Treatment aims to help your child feel more comfortable.

  • Give your child plenty of water to drink so that they are well hydrated.
  • Cool you child's skin with cold compresses or a cool bath.
  • If required, give your child simple pain relief medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
  • Prevent further UV damage by keeping your child indoors.

Signs of severe sunburn include blisters, swollen skin and severe pain. If your child has any of these signs, take them to see your doctor Sometimes children can get heatstroke, along with sunburn. If your child's sunburn is accompanied by fever, headaches or nausea and vomiting, take them to the doctor

    Key points to remember
  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause sunburn, skin damage, eye damage
  • Be a role model for your children and participate in sun protection behavior's so they are more willing to do the same.
  • When it's very hot make sure your child's skin is protected.
  • Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses.
  • Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun avoid the use of sunscreen on babies under six months old.

Does my child need to wear sunscreen if it is sunny in the early morning or late afternoon? What about during sunny days in winter?
Depending on the time of year, sun protection may be needed from early morning to late afternoon. Always use a combination of sun protection measures during the sun protection times and never rely on sunscreen alone. Generally, the UV levels in the early morning or late afternoon as not as high as the middle of the day so it is best to encourage play outside during these times. However, your child should always be protected from the sun (with clothing, hats, sunglasses and shade) and wear sunscreen.

About the Author

Dr.Umamaheswararao Ginjupalli

Dr. Umamaheshwararao Ginjupalli completed his MD from Kuvempu University, India, in 1992. With 26 years of experience, he specialises in providing all-round care to kids and infants. Read More

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