Summer is created for family vacations, holiday sessions, sea swims and beach idleness. We, the inhabitants of middle latitudes, usually suffer from the abundance of temptations, the head is spinning, and we often lose our vigilance. Parents such carelessness is not allowed, because the baby’s skin is helpless in front of UV light.
But in order for the efforts to take place to take effect, sunscreen alone is indispensable, because the crumbs must be protected from dehydration, overheating, and skin and cornea burns. And for someone it is still a secret that all these tasks will have to be accomplished not only on the sultry sea coast, but also on the dacha lawn and even in the city park.
So at the height of the high season it’s time to repeat the truism.
About the pros of sunlight is not less known than about its minuses. The impact of ultraviolet radiation on the body is considered one of the ways of hardening.
Under the influence of summer rays, the tone of the central nervous system increases, the activity of the endocrine glands is activated, the barrier function of the skin, metabolism and blood composition are improved, the blood circulation system and immunity are strengthened. So, the sun provides not only the production of vitamin D for adults and children.
Nevertheless, an age discount is necessary. Due to its structure, the skin of babies is very sensitive, including the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Its upper layers, which are designed to protect the body from harmful external influences, are much thinner than in adults, so it copes with its functions worse. Synthesis of melanin – the pigment that gives the skin a tan color and protects from harmful radiation and burns, is also not debugged.
Three troubles flow from this.
Children’s skin is prone to sunburn. It has been proven that even a one-time incident that happened at a young age plays a significant role in the development of malignant melanocytic tumors in the future.
Excessive insolation also leads to a general decrease in immunity. Against this background, genetic diseases can start, including skin diseases, for which the baby has a family predisposition.
From the already existing chronic dermatoses, herpes, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, viral and fungal skin infections, acne disease can be exacerbated.
But that’s not all. It is not only skin that suffers from ultraviolet radiation: it contributes to the rapid evaporation of moisture from the surface of the body, which leads to dehydration.
Children face this problem especially often. Unlike an adult, tissues and organs of a baby contain much more water. As the child grows, it becomes smaller.
In newborns, the body consists of water by 75.5%, by the age of 5 its share decreases to 70%, and then decreases to the final 60–65%. In addition, water exchange in children is much more intense than that of parents, and the supply of fluid is consumed faster. For comparison, each H2O molecule is delayed in the body of an infant for 3-5 days, and in an adult – for a good 15.
In addition, under the scorching rays, the rapid loss of fluid leads to the breakdown of the already imperfect mechanisms of thermoregulation (the ability to save and give off excess heat in time).
Given the high risks, doctors categorically do not recommend exposing children under 3 years of age to the open sun. How, then, will the baby get the famous vitamin D? This legitimate parental alarm is easy to dispel. So that a sufficient amount of valuable substance is produced in the baby’s skin, it’s quite enough to walk in the lace shade of the trees, through which only the “right”, diffused sunlight penetrates.
Moreover, even single-layer clothing made from natural breathable materials – cotton and flax – retains only 40–70% of ultraviolet radiation, so that the crumb will not remain without vitamin D.
In the future, when the baby grows up and becomes active, security measures will have to be multiplied. Ultraviolet rays are of two kinds. Irrefutable evidence of exposure to sunlight becomes a tan.
It occurs due to type B rays. By the way, it is from their excess that burns appear on the body. Type A rays leave no visible traces, but at the same time penetrate deep into the skin, changing the chemical composition of cells.
The effects of such exposure (pigment spots, freckles, moles, malignant and benign neoplasms) may not appear immediately, sometimes years later. In parallel, these rays reduce the elasticity and elasticity of the skin, causing it to become drier and rougher.
Jokes with insidious ultraviolet are bad, so pediatricians brought out the immutable rule: after 3 years, children without cosmetic protection in the open sun can spend no more than 5−10 minutes per day. And then only in the early morning and evening hours, when the light is not at its zenith.
This time is enough to take all the benefits from ultraviolet radiation and avoid harm.
Easy to learn – hard to do. You can easily hold the baby in the sun for 10 minutes, because he himself is happy to bathe in the warm rays as long as possible. But how to make him spend the rest of the day not taking a step outside the sacred shadow circle, thrown off by a beach umbrella?
With such a task no parent will cope. It remains to call for help sunscreen, which will stretch the pleasure to 60−75 minutes.
Sunscreens successfully resist harmful radiation due to the constituent components of the special – the so-called UV filters, which are divided into physical (mineral) and chemical (organic). The latter, unlike the first, are resistant to water, but can cause allergic reactions.
This point should be taken into account when buying baby equipment. It is best to look for a formula that contains only harmless minerals (according to EU standards, only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are allowed) and there are no alcohol and preservatives. Since physical filters are quickly washed away during bathing and are erased even from touching, this cream should be renewed as often as possible, at least once every 2 hours.
It is necessary to smear a baby even in the shade: the sun’s rays are reflected from the sea and sandy surface, and not a single beach shelter will protect against such a rebound. Stay alert on cloudy days: ultraviolet easily overcomes the thickness of the clouds.
Attention must also be paid to the SPF factor: its index will vary depending on the geographical coordinates chosen for the holidays. If the child spends the summer in the middle lane (in the city or in the country), it will be enough 15-20 units.
If you are planning a trip to the south coast, you should bet on 40-50.
No less carefully should choose the very location of the resort. In addition to chronic diseases, due to which the doctor may recommend changing the course, the phototype of baby’s skin can serve as a guide.
There are 5 of them altogether, but only the first four are characteristic of Russia (the Negroid kids belong to the last fifth).
- I phototype Children with very fair skin, red hair and blue eyes cannot be sunbathed under any circumstances: they are at maximum risk of sunburn.
- Phototype II Blonde with light skin, blue, gray or green eyes have a very low threshold of sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation – their skin has practically no natural protection from the sun. Like the owners of type I skin, these children can be in the sun for the shortest possible time and only in their own region.
- Phototype III Babies with not too light, but not dark skin, dark blond or light brown hair, gray or brown eyes are at moderate risk, so with great caution, but they can still bask in the rays of the southern sun. Fortunately, most of the small Russians belong to this phototype.
- Phototype IV Holders of dark skin, dark brown or black hair and dark eyes are less susceptible to burns. But this does not mean that they do not need sun-protection cosmetics and they can stay under the open sun for an arbitrarily long time. These babies are not protected from the harmful and invisible radiation of type A rays. The only relief that can be done is to choose for them sunscreens with a lower SPF factor.
Just a few easy rules will help to avoid serious consequences.
- Sunscreen begins to act not immediately, but only after 15−30 minutes after application. Ideally, the baby should be smeared for half an hour before leaving the house.
- It is better to spend the first days on the beach on the beach in the shade: this way his skin will gradually adapt to the sun. If you are resting on the seashore, at the initial stage it is better to use a cream with an SPF factor of 40–50 units, and later go to 30.
- From 11 o’clock till 16 o’clock, when the sun is at its zenith, we get a double portion of ultraviolet radiation, because the rays, passing through the atmosphere, reach the Earth faster. The baby is strictly forbidden to enter the sun at this interval.
- To avoid dehydration, on hot days the child needs to drink 200–300 ml more than the norm, which in children older than a year is about 1–1.2 liters. Your task is to offer water to the child as often as possible, and if he refuses, to persuade at least a teaspoon.
- After a shower, when the sunscreen is washed off, it is highly desirable to smear the baby with a moisturizer to soothe the skin.