Well, seeing as the UK has now become a hot country (this weather is staying forever now right?) I thought I'd share with you some tricks to keep your little ones safe in the sun whilst away on your holidays or at home.
1. Know your factors
I have been told that the factor of a sunscreen means the amount of time you are able to stay in the sun. The easy way to remember it is this, Factor 50 means 5 hours in the sun, Factor 30 is 3 hours, Factor 15 is 1 and a half hours and anything lower than 10 is just basically cooking oil...
For me I always reach for 50 when it comes to my daughter then I know she is at the safest factor she can be and I don't need to run after her so much trying to reapply. Having said this I still recommend reapplying every 2 hours especially on a very hot day.
Studies have shown the correct amount of suncream for infants is a table spoon per limb. Yes you will make your child look very white but with some rubbing in they will be ready for some fun in the sun.
Brands aren't very important to me when it comes to sun cream for my little one. I look for a factor 50 and with 5 stars protection from UVA and UVB on the back of the bottle. Anything less than 5 stars is pointless as your child will still burn! Remember UVA is the ray that 'A'ges the skin and can penetrate class, e.g. windows and UVB is the ray that 'B'urns so protection from both is important.
4. Buying overseas
Speaking from experience buying suncream whilst on holiday isn't as easy as back at home. Supermarkets aren't as well stocked so it's best to head for a pharmacy and ask for help. The pharmacists will no doubt speak english and will help you find the best product, be warned however, it won't be cheap.
5. Take a break
The hottest parts of the day are midday until 3pm which is a perfect time to head off to the shade for some lunch. I've always said the best naps I had as a child in Cyprus was in my swimming custom, wrapped in a towel in the shade. The sound of the water from the pool or sea would lull me into the best sleep. You'll find me having trouble staying awake even now, 25 years later! I find taking a number of toys and books to play with on a sun lounger is always a good idea to keep them still for a while in the cooling shade.
6. Pack the right gear
If you have the same trouble as me and find keeping your sprogs out of the sun then these tricks may help. I pack a couple spare tee shirts I call 'pool shirts' to pop on over the top of their swimsuits. They can be super cheap and perhaps have a favourite cartoon character on them too. I am aware of the wet suit style costumes you can get, which are fab, but if you also have a little madame who doesn't like the feel of them, I've found the tees to work a treat. As for hats packing two or more then leaving them on the side will result in my daughter deciding on one and copying the rest of us and wear it happily. There is no way in hell a hat will stay on her head if I pop one on. So putting it into her control works best for us, even when she does put them on back to front...
I wouldn't recommend giving your little ones only juice whilst in the sun as it won't keep them as hydrated as they need to be. Instead opt for water throughout the day and perhaps keep the juices for lunch or maybe even an afternoon treat. I'd also suggest applying able amounts of after sun to them in the evenings after they are washed and ready for bed. Their skin will need the moisture and hydration after a day in the sunshine.
8.Keep an eye
Sunburn can still happen, no matter how careful you are. If you notice your tot getting rather pink then it's time to call it a day. Taking yourselves off to the hotel room will protect them from whether sun damage and also a nice rest and cool down. Heat rash can be very uncomfortable and from my own experience, there isn't really anything you can do. Soaking a towel with some water and using it on the rash will stop the itching, but sadly it won't completely disappear until you are back on your home turf.
So there you have some tricks I use when we are on holiday or spending the day in the sun. They all work for us but of course every child is different so you are able to adapt any of these tips to suit you and your family!
Now, off you go and enjoy that sunshine! I get the feeling we are in for a good few wet months after this glorious Summer... fingers crossed I'm wrong!
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