Prevent excess solar radiation from causing burns, scalds and irritations to your little one
Children’s skin is very sensitive. Therefore, in summer preventive measures must be taken to avoid sunburns, scalds, allergies and irritations. Studies indicate that between 50 and 80% of the sun damage that a person receives throughout their lives occurs during childhood and adolescence. Here lies the importance of parents taking care of their children’s skin from an early age. Pediatric dermatologist Luciana Ganoza from the Ricardo Palma Clinic provides recommendations in this regard.
- From 6 months of age, a baby can use a children’s sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) between 30 and 50, broad spectrum (against UVB and UVA radiation) and water resistant. Preferably, use a cream protector since due to its consistency it has better coverage and repels water. Generously apply the product every 2-3 hours.
- When you take your child to the beach or pool, dress him/her in light clothing with long sleeves and pants. Keep in mind that the darker the garment, the more protection it provides. As for the swimsuit, opt for those with long sleeves and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
- The use of wide-brimmed hats to protect the head, the back of the neck and the ears of children from the sun is essential during the summer. Legionnaire, safari or chavito type hats are also a good option as they have a fabric that covers the neck and ears.
- Use repellent every time you take your little one to areas with vegetation, where it is possible to find mosquitoes, or to places where diseases transmitted by insects (dengue fever or malaria) are frequent. Those containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) in concentrations lower than 30% are recommended, which can be used from 2 months of age. The product is always applied after the sunscreen and is reapplied only when necessary every 4 to 8 hours, depending on the DEET concentration of the repellent.
- During the summer, children’s bathing should be daily, in case of physical activities that generate excessive sweating, dirt or very high temperatures, the frequency can be increased to 2 times a day.
- To avoid scalds, be sure to maintain adequate cleaning of the diaper area using cotton with water, make frequent changes. Also, try leaving the diaper open to air out the area for a few minutes several times a day. Use barrier creams such as ointments or pastes with zinc oxide or Vaseline at each diaper change and avoid using chuño, powder or other substances not indicated by the doctor.
- If in doubt, consult your pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist for advice on skin care and avoid self-medicating your child.
Dr. Luciana Ganoza
Pediatric dermatologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma