As we continue to enjoy one of the hottest summers on record, it’s more important than ever to keep your little ones protected from the sun’s harmful rays whilst you’re out and about.
We spoke to SnoozeShade, inventors of multi award winning baby sunshades, and experts in baby sun protection about their top tips for parents in hot weather.
Always, always, ALWAYS apply sunscreen…
… to the whole family! It’s just as important to remember your own cream (and lead by example) as it is to apply it to the kids each day. Just one incidence of sunburn in childhood can increase the risk of developing skin cancer in later life, so it really should be non-negotiable.
Experts advise that here in the UK we should wear sunscreen daily from the months of April to October, and even on overcast days too. Make it part of your daily routine, much the same as brushing your teeth in the morning. Encourage younger children to help you rub the cream in. Turn it into a game if you need to (who can rub the cream into their arms first?!), and it won’t take long to become a habit you don’t think twice about. Don’t forget tips of the ears and the tops of feet!
Don’t forget to re-apply if you go swimming, or even if you’re playing in the paddling pool or having a water fight in the garden. Most creams will tell you how often you should re-apply so always read the label carefully, and look out for the creams with the highest UV rating.
Bearing all of the above in mind, it’s important to remember that babies under the age of six months should not have sun screen applied at all. Doctors recommend that very young babies are not exposed to direct sunlight at all, which is why shade is your friend during the sunny summer months. Wherever you go, try to find as much shade as possible and if in doubt, stay inside and avoid the sun if it’s possible.
Dress children appropriately
When it’s sunny, it’s tempting to dress little ones in smaller clothes such as vest tops and shorts. The problem is that these type of clothes provide very little protection against the sun’s harmful rays. If you can, choose lighter fabrics that allow air to circulate but that cover as much skin as possible. Long sleeves and trousers are ideal. Don’t forget hats and sunglasses too.
Babies should always be covered as much as possible, in loose clothing during the summer. Remember that very young babies cannot wear sunscreen so it’s vital you cover them and provide as much shade as possible. Using a SnoozeShade on the pram will block out up to 99% of the sun’s harmful rays safely. Always check on your baby if they’re sleeping, and position your pram in as shady an area as possible. Read more about the safety of covering your pram in the summer here.
When the weather is warm it’s extremely easy to become dehydrated, and this can become an issue quite quickly with small children. Make sure you and your little ones are drinking enough fluids throughout the day; offer lots of feeds to smaller babies. If you’re concerned that your child may be dehydrated, always seek medical advice promptly. There are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:
• Feeling very thirsty
• Dark and strong smelling urine (check nappies)
• Feeling dizzy
• Dry mouth, lips and eyes
• Infrequent urination
Carry bottles of water with you wherever you go, and if you can, avoid the sun when it’s at its hottest (between 11am and 3pm). Seek shade wherever you can, and always choose quieter activities that won’t tire your child easily.
Above all, enjoy the summer and absolutely make the most of the beautiful weather we’ve been having - but do it with care and caution at all times.
We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at SnoozeShade to bring you a super little prize bundle perfect for summer days out and about. One lucky winner will receive a SnoozeShade Plus for better baby sleep on the go and safe protection from the sun’s harmful rays, PLUS one of our family first aid kits which is the perfect size for keeping in your change bag.