How to select sunscreen for kids?

Sunny days knock at our doors and we get stuck with lots of health questions related to our little people. Along with various skin problems. The most questionable is sun-tan. Obviously, you can’t keep them away from sunlight all through the season. So, there should be a layer of protection on their delicate skin to save them from harmful sunrays.

Keypoints for selection:

Here are the keypoints to be taken care while you buy a sunscreen for your child:-
Mineral and Moisturiser. Be specific about the formula used in sunscreen. Check the composition and go for mineral based formula.
UVA and UVB protection. Look for Broad-Spectrum product which can protect against both UVA and UVB both.
SPF Range. The sunscreen must have SPF upto 30 and atleast 20. Above 30 is not required, higher SPF notations only make you buy high chemical composition, it’s a trap.
Get Waterproof. Go for waterproof sunscreen even if you are not taking your child for swimming. It works better.
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. The most important trick is to choose a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. It helps in creating protective layer on your child’s delicate skin which also prevents rashes.
Patch Test is a must. Do a patch test before using any sunscreen lotion on your child. Just take a small amount of lotion and apply it on the upper arm of your baby. If you observe any redness or rash appeared on the skin, reject it.

How to protect kids from summer rashes?
What to avoid while buying sunscreen?

Don’t buy the endocrine disturbing chemicals. Strictly avoid the sunscreens with ingredients like Oxybenzone, octinoxate , homosalate, avobenzone, octisalate and octocrylene. These chemicals are tend to effect endocrine gland and cause major disturbance in the hormones.
Check for ingredients like PABA and Retinol. PABA is also known as Para-aminobenzoic acid and is often used in most of the chemical based sunscreens as reflective agent. Dermatologists suggest to avoid such creams and lotions because inclusion of PABA can cause wide range of abnormalities like discoloration, skin pigmentation and even cancer in worst case. Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate is also bad in terms of skin diseases.
Big NO to Bug repellant. Many commercials promote the combination of bug repellant and sunscreen in a single product. Please don’t ever fall in their trap. Sunscreen and Bug repellant cannot go together at all. DEET which is the major ingredient in most of the repellant can decrease the efficiency of sunscreen by almost 30%. Also, applied sunscreen helps the DEET to get absorbed in the skin which can cause skin problems and can be toxic.
Don’t buy sunscreen sprays. While most of such aerosol sprays contains zinc oxide/titanium dioxide like ingredients that are absolutely safe for kids but they also contain almost 100mm nanoparticles that can cause severe inhalation hazards.

How to apply sunscreen?

Sunscreen can be used for babies above 6 months but it should be applied in the correct way to get the benefit. As written earlier, you must do a patch test before using such products especially when it is chemical based.

Always apply a thick coat of sunscreen enough to cover the exposed skin of your child. Don’t forget to reapply, if you are out in the sun for more than 2-3 hours. Even the most promising sunscreen can fade after 2 hours under the sunshine.

If you are going out for water activity, remember that sunscreen loses its effect after getting wet for more than an hour or if dried up using towel. The rule says that chemical based sunscreens must be applied prior half an hour stepping out. [Things to remember while taking your toddler to swimming pool].

Sunscreens are very useful to protect your delicate darlings but the trick is that you must pay attention on the ingredients before buying. Being safe is always good in terms of babycare.

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