It’s exciting isn’t it? A bit of sunshine in spring! Especially after what has felt like the longest winter ever. There’s a BUT though – we really need to remember to protect our families against sun damage even in the spring.
Full playgrounds, ice cream, picnics and barbecues – after winter, everyone is longing for the first warm strokes of the sun, but parents can heavily underestimate the risks of spring-sun. According to a study carried out by parent magazine Kinderzeit.org, 90.6 % of all parents do not protect children correctly, 80.0 % overestimate the length of time their child can spend in the sun safely.
About the survey
A total of 3,217 parents were asked to take a survey on their knowledge about skin protection and handling of measures they implement to protect their children from ultraviolet rays.
- A staggering 90.6 % of parents who participated in the survey reported that they tend to forget to apply sunscreen on their children during the first days of spring.
- 80.0 % of all parents significantly overestimate the time that their child can spend in the sun without protection.
- 64.9 % choose a too low SPF factor.
- 21.2 % already of all children already caught a mild sunburn this spring, 6.4 % a moderate sunburn and 3.1 % a severe one.
- Only 21.1 % of all parents equip their children with special sun protection clothing during spring.
After the winter, our skin is not used to UV radiation anymore, the skin is more vulnerable and prone to sunburns. It takes quite a while for the skin to build up a natural protection level again. Another factor that exacerbates the situation: the ozone layer, normally absorbing part of the radiation, is thinner in spring than in summer and more of the dangerous rays penetrate ground levels. This results in spring being the most dangerous time to get a sunburn. Parents should not take this lightly, as according to National Health Institute, sunburns triple the risk of developing skin cancer.
How much time can children stay in the sun safely?
Based on current UV-index, age, skin color and protection level of sun cream, this free online-tool navigates parents through everything related with sun protection, including the exact amount of time a child can be exposed to the sun. A guide on SPF measurement, charts and a lot of pragmatic advice can also be found.
I am rather surprised the tool does not recommend 50+SPF sunscreen at all times with children, personally I wouldn’t use anything lower than that on their skin. It also states that babies under 6 months are too young for sunscreen, however brands like Childs Farm are suitable from birth, so I would always use that.
Have you had some nice weather so far this spring? Have you had the sunscreen out? It’s time to crack out the shorts and those custom t-shirts that tell you summer is really on the way.
Playing in the sunshine is fine as long as we protect ourselves and our families. Make sure you have a good sunscreen and t-shirts to hand as good cover ups when the sun gets too much.