Children's skin, which is still in development, is far more fragile than adult skin, particularly when it comes to the harmful effects of UV rays. There is only one solution: protect them.
Thin skin, an immature pigmentation system…
While adults are very familiar with the dangers of the sun, they are not always aware of the extreme vulnerability of little ones. And yet children's skin, which is still in development, is immature and thus more vulnerable to the sun's ferocity:
- Because it is thinner, it is more vulnerable to deeper cellular damage.
- With a less developed pigmentation system, it does not have a self-defence system (which, in adults, helps protect the skin against UV rays)
This is why children must be completely protected, even more so than adults.
… very vulnerable to sunburn, cellular damage and heatstroke
50% of sun capital is used up before the age of 20. And one out of 55 people born in 2008 will one day have a melanoma. Why? Children are overexposed to UV rays. On holiday, one-third of children spend an average of 15 hours per week in their swimsuits : That is far too much. Especially considering that water and sand reflect 30% of UV rays. And at these ages, children are unable to assess the danger. Consequences: They only express their discomfort when the damage is already done:
- Sunburn and deep cellular aggressions cause irreversible damage and make skin fragile over the long-term (acceleration of skin ageing, increased risk of developing skin cancer later in life).
- This deep-seated damage is compounded by the risk of dehydration or heatstroke.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Protect them from the earliest age
Protecting your children means educating them first and foremost. A study conducted in Germany involving young children demonstrated that sun education increases good protection habits by 500%:
- Avoid periods of peak sunlight (between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.) by encouraging activities in the shade or naps.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with filtering lenses and dark clothing (a black tee-shirt protects more than a white one)
- Apply sunscreen frequently and generously (at least two layers every two hours and after each swim) on all exposed skin...without forgetting the nape, ears and feet!
- Choose a cream that is specially formulated for children with a protection index of 50 that is water- and sand-resistant.
CAUTION! Before the age of three years, the entire medical profession recommends total sun avoidance.
Don’t hesitate to ask your dermatologist for more details.