What kind of sunscreen is best for children?
What kind of sunscreen is best for children?

What kind of sunscreen is best for children?

Your child has delicate skin that’s thinner than yours and especially vulnerable to sunlight. So it’s vital to choose sunscreen that’s optimally effective against the sun’s harmful rays, but that also respects your child’s delicate skin and preserves its supply of healthy cells.

These days, kids grow up knowing that sun protection is vital if they’re going to spend any time outdoors while the sun’s out – and the most important part of being sun safe is to make sure they’re wearing some sunscreen. Coupled with that, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence which has linked substantial sun exposure and sunburn during childhood with increased risk of developing skin cancers, such as melanoma, as an adult.

But what does sunscreen actually do? How can mums and dads find out which ones are best for kids?

Choosing the best sunscreen

The range of sunscreens available for use on kids is vast – and in Canada, most sunscreens are good quality.

Nine sunscreen facts you need to know

  1. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours – even if it claims to be water resistant up to four hours.
  2. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure – all sunscreens need time to bond with skin.
  3. Apply liberally – this means at least one teaspoon per limb.
  4. Watch the use-by dates – over time, the chemicals contained in sunscreens break down or separate so it cannot provide the amount of protection indicated.
  5. Don’t leave sunscreens in the car. Ideally, to prolong their life and effectiveness, they should be stored in cool places below 30°C.
  6. No sunscreen provides 100 percent protection – sunscreen reduces but cannot block all UV radiation. That’s why it’s advised to always use sunscreen with other forms of sun protection like hats, shade, clothing and sunglasses.
  7. SPF30+ is not twice as protective as SPF15+. An SPF 30+ sunscreen blocks out approximately 96 percent of UV rays, while an SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent.
  8. Water is not a good sunscreen – UV rays can penetrate to the depth of one metre.
  9. Sunscreen should be worn if the UV Index is three or over


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