Babies and children need extra protection from the sun. Their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin, and damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life.
Of course, everyone who’s exposed to UV light is at risk of getting sunburn, but children are more vulnerable than others.
According to data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID) 34 children were admitted to an NHS Burns Service experiencing sunburn in 2021.
This does not include the likely hundreds more who were treated in A&E departments for other sun-related conditions, such as heat stroke or dehydration.
Sun safety for babies and children
Advice from the NHS is for children aged under 6 months to be kept out of direct strong sunlight.
From March to October in the UK, children should:
- cover up with suitable clothing
- spend time in the shade, particularly from 11am to 3pm
- wear at least SPF30 sunscreen
Apply sunscreen to areas not protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet and backs of hands.
For further guidance on how to keep babies and children save in the sun, visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/sunscreen-and-sun-safety.