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Staying safe in the sun

When it is warm outside, we all want to enjoy the weather and make the most of the outdoors. But it’s important to make sure we keep our little ones safe at the same time.

Out in the sun?

Sunburn can be exceptionally painful. It can cause dehydration, heatstroke and blistering burns.

Babies under 6 months have extremely sensitive skin so must always be kept out of direct sunlight. Toddlers, children, teenagers, and adults alike need to ensure the skin is protected from burning by using a suitable factor sunscreen: the NHS recommends SPF 30 or higher. Make sure to apply it to those areas not covered by clothes such as behind the ears, the neck, feet, ankles, and the backs of hands, and make sure you reapply often, and always after going in water. Have a look here at some advice on how much suntan lotion to use.

If you have a baby or a small toddler who will need a break from walking and uses a buggy, never cover the front of the pram or buggy with a blanket, towel or even a muslin square.  Covering the pram over to protect from the sun actually has the opposite effect and increases the temperature inside which can cause your baby to overheat. The lullaby trust has some great advice on sun safety, and recommends using a clip-on parasol or sunshade. Make sure that babies are kept out of direct sunlight too. 

Follow this guidance from the NHS if you and your family have spent a little too long in the sun and have been burnt

Read more about keeping your child safe.

About the author

Julia is a Professional Development Lead for School Nursing and Kirstie is Professional Development Lead for Health Visiting and Infant Feeding Lead