UV Long Term Dangers For Your Baby
As parents know, there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to protect your baby. We watch them as they eat, we monitor them when they sleep, we child-proof the house so they will not be harmed. What do we know about UV dangers to babies skin? What do we really know about UV protection and do we serve them with the adequate protection they deserve?
Most parents who have any knowledge about UV say “we apply SPF creams and make sure they wear a hat when they are outside”. That is great! And it’s more than what other parents do. But many do not know, it is far from being enough.
UV is the number one cause for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the third most common cancer in the USA. With melanoma being one of the most lethal of them all. Dermatologists say, that most of the UV is absorbed during childhood. 80% of the sun light and UV exposure happens until the age of 18.
When the skin is sensitive, fair and pale, and has little to non melanin production (natural tanning cells) The risk for sun burn and long term side effects are increased by 50%!
How To Protect Babies and Toddlers From UV
The first way to protect is education. You need to know what threatens your child and learn new ways to protect them from UV, other than applying SPF creams..
Did you know there are two kinds of UV rays? There are the short UV rays, which tan the skin and are intense during summer. They can be filtered with any SPF cream higher than SPF 15. The short UV rays cause skin burns and cause the skin tanning, they are known as UVB.
In order to protect your kid from UVB, apply SPF creams every two hours, apply it generously. The FDA recommends to apply a teaspoon per body part: leg, arm, abdominal, face and neck.
Staying in the shade can reduce skin exposure to UVB dramatically.
Most parents know this much and protect their kids this far.
Protecting Babies & Toddlers From UVA
Except from UVB the sun sends large amounts of ultraviolet radiation which is very close to visible light. These are the long UV rays, which are around us all when ever there is sun light. For example during a cloudy day, there is nearly zero UVB (which can not penetrate clouds) but plenty of UVA which can penetrate clouds like sun light does.
Or think about this situation, you baby is out in the sun, with a hat and cotton clothes. Cotton can reduce only 5%-10% of UVA radiation. You baby may not get sun burned from UVB but soaked with excessive UVA exposure!
UVA penetrates deeper into lower skin layers. If you have seen the clip above you learned that the top layer will get tan from UVB but deeper layers and skin cells will absorb UVA radiation.
SPF creams do not filter UVA! Yes, they can filter UVB but have no protection value for UVA. If you are applying sunscreen creams make sure you buy those labeled “broad spectrum”, or UVA & UVB. Otherwise your child is at risk from UVA rays even if they are covered from head to toe with regular SPF lotions.
Get Your Baby UV Protective Clothing
As mentioned above there are new technologies many parents do not know enough about. One of them is the availability of UPF clothing. UPF is the official rating given to clothes similar to the SPF rating given to cosmetics.
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. These clothes have been tested to filter and block up to 99% of incoming UV. When wearing UPF clothing there is no need to apply SPF creams (only for the face and arms if wearing short sleeves).
If you do not have any UPF clothes for your baby, check here and see UPF hats and UPF clothes at reasonable prices at Amazon.
Reduce UV exposure for babies in the car.
We might not be aware but children are exposed to UVA in the back seat.
Unless you have tinted windows, UVA has no difficulty penetrating through glass. A child which is belted in the seat can get lots of UVA while sitting. Even a cotton blanket shading them will not prevent UVA inside the car.
The solution is UV cling shades, which can be easily attached to the inner part of your window, blocking UVA from radiating your child. They are not expensive and they usually come in pairs.
Protecting the baby in the stroller or jogger from UV.
After the car most babies are exposed to sun light when sitting in their trolly. Most of the time their legs peek outside, their arms are at the sides, and the canopy shade or fancy umbrella is not really shading them.
There are simple attachments which can block 99% of all UVA and UVB. For example this Summer Infant Rayshade Stroller Cover is an Amazon #1 best seller in Baby Stroller Weather Shields.
Remember that a baby’s skin is more vulnerable than an adult’s skin. With less melanin production cells more UV penetrates deeper into lower skin layers. And 80% of UV exposure occur until the age of 18. It is our responsibility to reduce their UV exposure when playing, riding in the car or in the stroller.