How to protect the baby from the sun? Advice from a dermatologist

The Expert: Dr. Emmanuel Mahé, dermatologist

The sun can quickly attack the skin of young children, who then risk sunburn. How to protect them from harmful rays from an early age? The explanations of Dr. Emmanuel Mahé, dermatologist and member of the French Society of Photodermatology.

The principle: No sun exposure three years ago

“The rule is simple: under no circumstances should a baby be exposed to the sun before the age of three,” starts dr Mahe. “The sun’s rays are very harsh on a child’s sensitive skin and it is a risk factor for developinglater skin cancerAdulthood”, the dermatologist continues. The only benefit of the sun for a child would be after all Vitamin D intake. “But there’s no point putting it off for that reason, because all kids are supplemented with vitamin D, so it’s uninteresting,” the specialist repeats. In the baby’s first year, we are particularly careful.

Does your child have red and sore skin, cries when you touch their skin, and has been exposed to the sun for a long time (at least fifteen minutes) without protection? No doubt it is actually a sunburn. It is actually a skin burn due to sun exposure without protection. In fact, babies’ skin has no protection against this type of radiation and will burn very quickly if not properly protected. The burn can be more or less severe : If the redness is simple, it can be treated at home, but if you notice other serious signs, such as the appearance of blisters, the burn is much more serious and you should see a doctor quickly.

Opt for covering clothing: a sunscreen t-shirt, a hat, and glasses

Clothing is also a part of sun protection. Choose for your child light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and as opaque as possible. “The physical privacy screen” is still the best sun protection! We also equip the child with one Wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (category 3) with enveloping shapes that protect his fragile eyes, ta Wide-brimmed hat. Therefore, if you are going to a place where your child is likely to be exposed to the sun, you must think about his protection. At the beach, for example, when the baby is only a few months old, he must remain in the shade of an umbrella or parasol. When the child is older and needs to swim, build sandcastles, or play in the sun, you need to be even more vigilant. ” It’s best to opt for it anti uv clothing, such as anti-UV sunscreen t-shirts. They protect the child very effectively from harmful rays and provide lasting, constant protection,” explains Dr. Mahe.

In the car, think of the sun visor for babies

There’s one place you don’t necessarily think of, and yet your baby will also be exposed to the sun: in the car. To protect it, parents can buy a parasol to install it at the door window next to his car seat. There are several models that can be fixed on the glass, unrolled or installed directly on the door like a sock. The sun visor is an essential accessory for sunny days: it protects your child by filtering the sun’s UV rays. You can get them online, in supermarkets or in baby stores. Their price is on average around 10 euros.

What is the best sunscreen or spray for babies and children?

Choose a 50+ or ​​60 index mineral cream

In order to choose the sunscreen and counteract the dangers of the sun, it is important to opt for a sunscreen with very high protection for young children, advises the dermatologist «LThe highest index for sunscreen is index 60 or 50+ (formerly known as “Full Screen”). This is the type of sunscreen recommended for babies as this product offers better protection. This is what parents should choose for babies, but also for older children ». You must remember to renew your application at least every two hours or even more often, although these days solar products are becoming more and more resistant to water. “The downside with this type of product is that, unlike anti-UV clothing, you have to remember to put it on very often,” emphasizes the pediatrician.
Sunscreen is essential to protect areas not covered by clothing, like your face, hands, or feet.

Mustela, Avène, La Roche Posay… Which brand to choose? What about organic creams?

There are all kinds of products to prevent sun damage. You can choose your sunscreen spray that is easier to apply to the child or baby’s body. IThere are also sunscreens or mists, with various brands that offer sun care lines, such as Mustela, Avène or La Roche Posay. Also think of organic creams that contain ingredients of natural origin and mineral filters but no chemical agents such as titanium dioxide.

When should children be protected from the sun?

Sun cream or milk, mist, spray… We usually think of protection only in summer on the beach, when the baby is exposed to the dangers of the sun: « It’s a wrong belief. Sun protection is often linked to the outside temperature, when the angle of the sun matters. In the south, for example, you can get sunburned at Easter because the UV index increases faster than elsewhere in France from spring. Actually, you should protect your skin with a good cream or sunscreen between March and September, and maybe your face in winter, especially if you do mountain sports like skiing or snowshoeing.” says dr Mahe. Likewise, We’re also wary of cloudy weather that doesn’t stop the UV rays from getting through : Good sun protection is also essential here. Regarding the hours, we avoid taking a baby to the beach at certain times of the day, especially at times of maximum sunshine: from 11am to 3pm. You should also know that children with fair skin are more vulnerable to the sun: you need to be extra careful.

Remember that sun protection products, whether in the form of a mist, milk spray or cream, keep no longer than one year, due to the breakdown of ingredients that protect against the sun. So remember to renew your purchase early in the year and put something on the kids on sunny days to increase efficiency.

What if my child is sunburned?

If the measures described above are taken, nothing should happen to the child. However, parents are not immune to inattentiveness and the dangers of the sun. Sunburn occurs very quickly in 15 minutes exposure on average when the sun is at its highest. “ When a child is sunburned, the skin needs to be rehydrated with a moisturizer. And if necessary, consult a pediatrician or a dermatologist who will prescribe it a cortisone cream to relieve inflammation. It needs to be used regularly for a few days and eventually everything will go back to normal.” closes the specialist.

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