May 3rd – May 9th is National Sun Awareness Week and with the summer holidays rapidly approaching, you may be thinking about how you and your children will be spending the sunny days.
Sun Awareness is the British Association of Dermatologists’ annual campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer. The campaign is two-pronged and combines prevention and detection advice. The first aim is to encourage people to regularly self-examine for skin cancer. The second is to teach people about the dangers of sunburn and excessive tanning.
It’s quite easy to be safe when playing outside, with the simplest and most important thing to do being putting on sun cream. Make sure you and little one put on a hat, or cover your skin. It’s the easy things like this that save the skin from harmful and painful damage caused by the sun when over-exposed.
When it comes to sun cream, you have SO many choices and brands to pick from. What you really need to consider is what you want to get out of the sun cream you pick, and if choosing for children, you’ll need to think of;
- Will my child be around water/swimming?
- How effective is the sun cream at protecting from UVA/UVB?
- What SPF is best to choose for children?
- What brands are best for allergies/sensitivities?
The Importance of Sun Cream
Why is sun cream so important? Well, it protects you against sun burn and sun damage caused by UV radiation, both of which raise the risk of developing skin cancer. You can burn when it’s cloudy too, if the sun is intense enough.
The NHS addresses balancing getting enough vitamin D from sunlight whilst still being protected here – studies have never shown a link between vitamin D insufficiency and sun cream use, but it’s reassuring to see guidance.
Quick Lesson in SPF & Star Ratings
The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) protection. SPFs are rated on a scale of 2 to 50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with 50+ offering the strongest form of UVB protection.
SPF does not measure how well a sunscreen will protect from UVA rays. While UVB rays are what cause physical sunburns, UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and are associated with ageing. They also increase the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. That’s why it’s super important to look for a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection.”
The star rating measures the amount of ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) protection. You should see a star rating of up to 5 stars on UK sunscreens. The higher the star rating, the better.
Babies and smaller children shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, so with this in mind, the NHS advises an SPF of 30 or higher. A sun cream that protects against both UVA and UVB is advised. Apply to all areas not covered by clothing.
With these in mind, we’ve picked our top 5 sun creams for children.
Childs Farm Kids SPF 50+ Sun Lotion – Roll on Application
It’s paediatrician approved and is suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin. It is specially formulated to protect young and sensitive skin from UVA and UVB rays, whilst keeping skin moisturised and hydrated. Plus, just think of how much easier it would be to apply!
A scent-free, natural children’s sun cream that absorbs in seconds and offers 97% UVB protection (the rays that cause burning). It has high protection against UVA and UVB rays. Easy-to-apply formula, suitable for sensitive skin & prickly heat. Water repellent but non pore-clogging , contains 84% organic content.
Avene Lotion for Children SPF50+
Avene Lotion is specially formulated for very fair children, perfect for fair children like my blonde, blue eyed son. It’s infused with powerful antioxidants and Avene thermal spring water to give this sun cream soothing, anti-irritating properties, another perk if your child is prone to sensitive skin. We’d definitely recommend this children’s sun cream.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Kids Invisible Spray/Mist SPF 50+
An easy to apply spray with an ultra-light invisible texture, which is ideal for the whole family. Water resistant.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Kids Body Spray SPF50+ has been specifically formulated for children’s precious, sensitive skin.
The formula provides broad spectrum protection against the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays. The product also contains La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which soothes sensitive skin.
Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Sun Cream Trigger Spray SPF50+
Very high protection specially formulated for children’s sensitive and delicate skin (SPF50+). Protects against UVB, UVA and Long UVA rays. Non-greasy and water resistant. Hypoallergenic and tested under paediatric control. The trigger spray is ideal for easy application!
We also picked some super cute sun hats and sunglasses, so your little one gets maximum protection.
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