Do babies and children need different sunscreen to adults? Experts reveal how to protect kids in the sun – The Sun

WE all know it's important to slather on the suncream the moment the weather heats up.

But are you making sure you kids are properly protected from the sun's harmful rays?

Children, and especially babies, require extra protection compared to grown-ups.

This is because their skin is more sensitive than adult skin and can become damaged if it is repeatedly exposed to sunlight.

But do we need to buy specific sunscreen targeted at kids? Experts say, no.

Matthew Gass from the British Association of Dermatologists told the Sun Online: “When it comes to sunscreen, more expensive doesn’t mean better, you want a sunscreen which meets our recommendations, but that still leaves you with a wide array of choice.

"The key is to find the sunscreen that your children are happiest with being slathered in.

"This is tricky, but there can be quite a difference in the ‘feel’ of different products so it is worth seeing if you can find one that your children prefer.”

The key is to find the sunscreen that your children are happiest with being slathered in

It's not just during the summer holidays or in hot countries that we need to make sure children are slathered in sun lotion.

From March to October, kids should be covered up with suitable clothing and wearing at least factor 30 sunscreen, he said.

It's vital to make sure the sunblock is effective against both UVA and UVB – so you're looking for the stars and the factor on the packaging.

The SPF is what protects from UVB – or sunburn – while UVA is the protection from sun damage all-year round.

A three-star rated product will offer between 60-79 per cent protection from UVA, while four star offers 80-89 per cent.

Of course, a five-star rated product offers the highest protection, between 90 and 100 per cent, offering maximum peace of mind.

Regular application

It's also important to make sure sun cream is being regularly reapplied to all parts of the body that are exposed to the sun.

Infants under six months should always be kept out of direct sunlight.

Mr Gass added: “A baby’s skin can burn within minutes, which is why it’s so important to keep them out of direct sunlight.

"For older children it would not be practical or advisable to try and keep them out of the sun altogether, parents should instead ensure that their skin is properly protected from getting sunburnt.

“We advocate making use of shade between 11am and 3pm, wearing protective clothing, and using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, and good UVA protection.

"Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or being in water."

How much sun cream should you apply?

Dr Marko Lens, a skin cancer specialist, told The Sun Online: “The correct amount to be used is one teaspoon for the entire face and neck, and it should be re-applied every two hours if exposed to the sun.

“I always recommend SPF (sun protection factor) 30 broad spectrum sunscreen as it provides high protection against both, UVA and UVB.”

His advice is echoed by Rebecca Bennett, who is a Johnson & Johnson Ltd Skincare Specialist.

Speaking to The Sun Online, she said: “When using lotions, as the bare minimum, you should apply at least six full teaspoons (approximately 36 grams) to cover the body of an average adult.

"This is more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm, and just over one teaspoon to each leg, front of body and back of body.

"This equates to around four 200ml bottles per adult per week.”

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