Top Tips for Keeping Kids Safe in the Sun

Sunburn is crap. I hate it. It’s sore, looks awful and it’s down right dangerous. Skin cancer is a very real fear of mine. I have to be so careful in the sun.

As a fair skinned ginger, I have been caught out a few times, even when trying so hard not to. Tanning is not cool when you are as fair as me and I usually use some fake tanning moisturiser where the colour builds.

I’m an adult though and responsible for myself. I’ve been an idiot and just unlucky. But what about my 22 month old daughter? Who is going to care for her beautiful, delicate skin if I’m not? No one and that responsibility is big.

I looked on whilst on holiday at a little girl burnt to a crisp. Not just a little blotch where the cream had missed; big red strap marks. She must have been around 4 years old. I judged. I’m sorry. With the awareness, the creams and the specialist clothing around for little ones now it’s just not acceptable. I would hate to put my little girl to bed, crying out every time she moved. Aftersun and aloe vera is soothing but the damage has already been done.This article was written whilst on holiday but at Brit Mums Live this weekend I got chatting to the team from Boots who made me even more aware of keeping my gremlin safe. Here are some of my own tips and what I learnt over the weekend:

  • Factor 50 sun cream is a must and despite most being waterproof nowadays, it must be reapplied after a towel dry. Trust me, this is one I have fallen foul to. I’m aware you should let your little ones have some sun exposure to allow appropriate Vitamin D generation but be aware in hotter countries, it does not take long for skin to burn unprotected. I’m happier to let my girlie have 15-20 minutes in the UK out of the hottest times (11am-3pm) to get her fix. If we get some sun that is!
  • Sun cream is less effective after being kept in the cupboard for a year, so check it’s lifespan on the bottle and if in doubt get some more.
  • Wet T-shirts are ineffective and sun cream is needed underneath. When wet a T-shirt stretches and lets the UV-rays through. I was not aware of this one. You can buy specialist swim suits that cover the shoulders and part of the legs. I actually bought mine from Boots as they have some lovely ones. Check the sun protection factor on the label to ensure it is safe for your little one. These suits really do provide piece of mind for those areas that may get missed with the cream or rubbed off. Plus if it’s a bit chilly, they offer a little bit more warmth.
  • Be extra careful at the beach. Sand particles reflect the UV rays.
  • UV rays can be reflected from your tablet onto your face and into your eyes if you are enjoying a read in the sun. This may not be an issue now for your little one but could be for you. Use sun cream on your face and wear a pair of sunnies that are guaranteed to protect your eyes from the UV rays.
  • A hat is also vital. I’m lucky. My gremlin has quite a bit of hair and this cover her neck too.
There is a slight bit of luck that my daughter’s skin is not as fair as mine and she did tan nicely on holiday, even with lots of sun cream. Regardless of this I would have been horrified if she had burnt. Going abroad is something we as a family love but staying sun safe is high on the agenda.

22 Comments

  1. June 23, 2015 / 5:44 am

    What a great post. I'm paranoid about my boys burning so I always apply sun cream even in a little sun as Finley is very fair like his daddy. My mum got skin cancer under her eye so I am so extra cautious now #twinklytuesday xx

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks Kirsty! Aww bless hope your Mum is ok! I'm the same with the grem x

  2. June 23, 2015 / 7:46 am

    Living in Dubai one of my essentials is suncream in my bag! Its always factor 50.

    The other big thing that people don't often realise is DON'T wash your UV protective clothing, just rinse it. Washing damages it 🙂 #twinklytuesday

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:24 pm

      Oh wow can totally imagine! That advice is fab about the clothing. Luckily I just did that on hols xx

  3. June 23, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Ooh this is one of my big worries – I hate having to wrestle with the kids to get the cream on but nowadays they are both a little bit more willing – in fact my five year old will happily have suncream applied. I was talking about this with Fiona (Free Range Chick) on Saturday too as she'd obviously chatted to the Boots people at BML as well! Thanks for this post – great advice here. #thetruthabout

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:25 pm

      It's tough but you just have to do it! Glad they have got better and have it on! The Boots people were great and gave me some more tips xx Thanks for hosting xx

  4. June 23, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Great post hon and so true. So sad to think of that little girl as she must have been sore! Once earlier this yr Monkey had a slightly red arm as I hadn't realised how hot it was and I felt terrible and hate the thought of him being burnt, he is just too precious. I have been sunburnt quite badly in the past and now use factor 70 on my face as it burns really easily and factor 50 elsewhere. Just not worth the pain, or risk of skin cancer! Great post xx

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:26 pm

      She did look so sore…such a shame. Hopefully Monkey only got it slightly and a one off. I thought the gremlin had caught it last year but seemed to fade. Factor 70! Didn't know they had it! Thanks xx

  5. June 23, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I'm a little bit worried about taking the boys to a proper 'sunshine' holiday!! Bertie has olive skin like me but poor little Cosmo is SO pale — I'll have to be super vigilant to make sure he's well protected. Thanks so much for sharing — such great tips 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:26 pm

      It must be tricky having one of each! the fair ones really suffer! Thanks for hosting xx

  6. June 23, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    I'm obsessed with protecting my little ones from the sun, double sun cream, factor 50, hats at all times, etc. my daughters a red head and fair so we have to be super careful x

    • June 24, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      It is just so scary isn't it? Thanks for the comment x

  7. June 28, 2015 / 9:11 am

    Great post! I always keep a bottle of sun factor 50 in the nappy bag. Even if it's slightly cloudy I'll still whack some on. My daughter once burned her face slightly on a cloudy day at the playground so I'm not taking any chances ever again!

    • July 1, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Aww ;cloud is so tricky isn't it? xx

  8. June 28, 2015 / 9:12 am

    Got so excited there I forgot to mention I found your post through #SundayStars

    • July 1, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      haha thanks lots x

  9. June 28, 2015 / 1:17 pm

    You're so right, no matter whether our kids are fair or olive skinned they need to be protected. I was talking about this with my sister recently as her two are gingers too. We remembered going on holiday with our grandparents, my brother & I were fine with the sunscreen we were using but it wasn't enough for my sister. She blistered like crazy so we need to treat our kids independently, one cream may not work for the whole family #SundayStars

    • July 1, 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Aww that must have been so tough. My Grandma is more olive skinned and she used factor 8!! haha same for me – just not enough. Your skin is lovely x

  10. June 28, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Great post, it is so important isn't it, Joe my youngest burns easily I always need to keep him topped up x

    • July 1, 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Thanks Sarah! x

  11. July 1, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Thanks lots! It is such a worry eh? x

  12. July 2, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Great tips I don't blame your for judging I would have too I always have a bottle of factor 50 in my bag just in case I have been badly sun burnt in the past and I would be so cross with myself if my girls got burnt under my watch! Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

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