Luciano Schiazza M.D.
c/o InMedica - Centro Medico Polispecialistico
Largo XII Ottobre 62
cell 335.655.97.70 - office 010 5701818
Observing the face of a child it is difficult to think that one day that smooth skin will be wrinkled. And it is also difficult to think that one day on that skin might appear something quite serious and dangerous. Suntan suggests the image of well being, but that image is the sign of the damage provoked by the sun. Suntan is nothing, but the defense mechanism of the skin. Starting from infancy, the damage provoked by the sun accumulates. It is therefore duty of parents to avoid this happening by limiting the exposure to the sun especially in the middle of the day and applying an adequate sunscreen lotion.
Let’s protect our children from the sun, it will be the most important investment for the future well being of their skin.
Let’s follow the suggestions of the Skin Cancer Foundation:
Under six months of age no exposure is recommended
Over six months of age:
Keep your children out of sun as much as possible during the first year of life. Sunburn on a small child can be very dangerous.
Check the time. Sun rays are more intense between 10 am and 3 pm. If the child has fear skin, blond or red hair and fair eyes try to organize outdoor activities (e.g tennis lessons, playground, etc.) early in the morning or late afternoon, so to avoid intense sun rays.
A hat , long sleeves shirts and long trousers should be worn by high risk children. If possible chose tightly threaded fabric. Infants should be taken out on a pram rather than a stroller. For older children use a stroller with parasol.
Use UVA protection. Sunscreen lotions filter dangerous rays, they play an important role in the protection program. The higher the protection factor (SPF) the highest the protection offered. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends to use lotions with SPF 15 or more. For children under two years of age, better to consult a doctor. It has to be remembered that sunscreen does not protect from over exposure, for sunscreen lotions do not offer absolute protection
Re-apply sunscreen lotion every two hours, more often if your child swims often or over perspires.
Mind sun reflection. Many surfaces such as sand, cement, snow, can reflect dangerous radiations. Being in a parasol shade doesn’t guarantee adequate protection. Mind cloudy days, for up to 80% radiations reach the earth on a cloudy day.
Mind altitude and latitude. For each 300 meter over the sea level sun radiation increases up to 4-5%. The closer to the Equator, the strongest the sun radiations. Be particularly cautious when visiting Equatorial Countries.
Do not mix sun exposure and medicines. Exanthema, redness and/or swelling may occur. Photosensitivity, adverse reaction to sun might occur when taking some medicines. It is therefore suggested to consult the physician prior to expose your child to the sun.
Check your child skin regularly, as you check yours. Look for any new excrescence, itchy spots, moles changes or new spots. Skin cancer is extremely rare in children and not common in teenagers. However, attention and skincare should be taken since infancy.
Be an example for your child. The principles herein mentioned should be applied by people of any age. Protect your skin using these simple guidelines and your child will get used to protect his own skin from the sun.
….it is true that the sun stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D against rickets, but a few minutes per day provide a sufficient quantity.
….you should not use products containing perfume on the skin: they attract insects and some of them can provoke photosensitive dermatitis.
…..the day before using a new sunscreen on children’s skin apply a small quantity under the wrist.: if irritated, discontinue the use.
….sunscreen has to be applied thoroughly. Do not forget nose, hears and lips, for they get easily burnt.
…..it is important to make children wear a large brimmed hat: this will protect their eyes.
…..sunscreen do not extend time exposure, but they protect the skin during a normal exposure time.