The Pediatrics warns through its website of the importance of applying sun protection to children and adolescents even on cloudy days.
Redness of the skin, solar erythema and allergic reactions are the most frequent incidences of sun exposure that are treated in pediatric consultations. To avoid these skin lesions as well as problems during adulthood, paediatricians remember the importance of both children and young people using adequate sun protection when doing outdoor activities, even on cloudy days. For this, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) has compiled on its EnFamilia website all the tips to protect the skin from the sun and the practical recommendations for the correct use of sunscreen in the summer season.
“Between 50 and 80% of the damage by sun exposure that an individual receives throughout life is done during childhood and adolescence”
“Parents have to take into account that clouds, especially if they are thin, allow the passage of ultraviolet radiation. Likewise, extreme precautions must be taken in mountain areas since the higher the altitude, the greater the intensity of the sun’s rays ”, advises paediatrician Paz González, editor-in-chief of EnFamilia. And is that, in addition to immediate injuries, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer.
“This risk is cumulative, which means that sun exposure from childhood increases the risk of cancer in adulthood,” adds the doctor.
On the other hand, paediatricians warn of abandoning healthy sun prevention practices during adolescence and recall that intense sun exposure during the first two decades of life is especially related to skin photoaging and the formation of skin cancer. “Between 50 and 80% of the damage by sun exposure that an individual receives throughout life is done during childhood and adolescence,” says Dr González.
Tips For Proper Sun Protection
Paediatricians remember that by adopting adequate preventive and sun protection habits it is estimated that 80% of all skin cancers could be avoided. For this reason, they insist on the importance of following the following general recommendations
- Reduce sun exposure during the central hours of the day, between 12 and 16 hours.
- Shade and the use of clothing and hats are the best forms of protection. The wide-brimmed hat protects the eyes, face and neck.
- Wear sunglasses
- Use a broad-spectrum sun protection cream with a protection factor (SPF) 15+ in abundance and as many times as necessary. This must protect, at least, against UVB radiation (which causes sunburn) and UVA (main responsible for premature ageing of the skin).
- To children under 6 months, it is not recommended to apply sunscreen. If it is not possible to protect them in the shade and with appropriate clothing, a small amount of protector of at least SPF 15 can be used in small areas, such as the face and the back of the arms and hands
- Children under 3 years old should not be exposed to the sun. It is very important to protect them with clothing, hats, glasses and high SPF sunscreen.