Kids in the sun

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in Dubai, the heat of summer here is always a bit of a shocker, especially for kids

Summer in Dubai is a shock to the system for the most seasoned Dubai-dweller but it’s ten times more so for children, especially babies.

Here’s how to look after your kids when the temperature tops 50.

Firstly, why is it so important to protect children from the sun?
Protecting children from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn, it also significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. And with more cases of skin cancer worldwide than ever before, it’s never too early to start looking after your children’s delicate skin. You might not know that 50 per cent of total lifetime sunlight exposure occurs in childhood and much of the damaged incurred at this age cannot be repaired.

How to protect children in the sun, in seven easy steps:
• Remember that babies must be kept out of the sun entirely, while children with light skin will burn easily.

• Children should be encouraged to play in the shade wearing good protective clothing.

• Sunscreen use does not allow a safe increase in the time spent in sunlight.

• Make sure you use enough sunscreen; half a handful (approximately 20ml) is usually enough for the child's entire body.

• Remember that some sunscreens come off through contact with water, sweating or rubbing with a towel.

• Re-apply sunscreen several times during a day in the sun.

• Keep children out of the sun between 10am and 2pm, when the sun's rays are at their strongest.

What to do if your kids get burnt?
• Even if you do everything right, children will get sunburnt from time to time. Here’s how to deal with it.

• Firstly, always consult a doctor if a small child or baby has been sunburnt, especially if blisters or a rash appears.

• If the burn is minor, and your child is a bit older, use calamine lotion to cool the burn. You can get this from most pharmacies. A pharmacist will also be able to provide advice about aftersun products, some of which may be useful for cooling and remoisturising the skin.

• Right after the burn occurs, cool the area in tepid water (approximately 25ºC) for 30 minutes to an hour.

• Finally, it may sound silly, but be careful the child does not get cold as this can make symptoms worse.

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