According to a recent news story and survey, most consumers are confused and baffled by SPF ratings for sun cream and are not sure what the difference between UVA and UVB is (or the impact of both). According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, who commissioned the survey, all manufacturers should unify the rating system so that consumers know exactly what they are looking for.
All makes perfect sense: in the UK, sun protection isn’t something we think about all of the time (even though we are often reminded that it doesn’t need to be hot for the sun’s rays to cause skin damage). However it looks as though we are heading for a scorching heatwave this week so keeping toddlers cool, safe and protected in the sun is vital right now.
Whilst sun cream is part of the solution, Australian entrepreneur and owner of our baby sunshades supplier Outlook, Eileen Slocombe has some additional guidance that can help.
“Seeking shade and covering up with UPF clothing and hats is the best protection available. In Australia we don’t like to take risks in the sunshine – we have learnt the hard way just how damaging exposure to the sun can be.”
UPF ratings are used specifically for fabric and directly relates to the amount of UV that is blocked out. So if you’re using a UPF50+ product, you know that 99% of UV is being blocked. Pram or car window shades like ours have a tested and proven UV block rating so they are a great idea for babies and toddlers.
Here are Eileen’s Top Tips for getting through the 2015 heatwave with a baby or child:
- Babies under six months must be kept out of direct sunlight. If you’re heading out, avoid peak UV times (between 11am and 3pm) and keep babies in the shade – ensure there is some airflow too.
- A ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen (one that protects against UVA and UVB) with a minimum of SPF15 should be used. Make sure it’s been applied at least 20 minutes before you go out because it won’t work immediately). Please don’t let the sunscreen create a false sense of security – stay out of the sun whenever you can. And remember, if you sweat (or get wet e.g. whilst swimming) you will need to reapply sun cream to dry skin. Regardless of this, sun cream should be reapplied every two hours.
- Keep babies and children hydrated – fluids will help keep kids and babies cool and compensate for the water being lost through excessive sweating.
- Prams and buggies offer little protection from the sun by themselves. A good quality sunshade should be an essential part of your mum-on-the-go armoury. If you’re stopping for a while, turn your pushchair away from the sun and don’t leave little ones unattended.
- One case of sunburn before you’re 20 can double your chances of skin cancer – it’s a big deal so make sure you and your loves ones are protected. Apply one ounce in every application – that’s equal to the size of a golf ball.
Having said all of that, make the most of the summer, enjoy the great outdoors – it’s perfectly possible to do so whilst staying safe.
Outlook sunshades for prams, buggies and cars are the only such products to be endorsed by the Skin & Cancer Foundation, Australia. Read more tips from the organisation here.