Your summertime fun in the backyard pool can undoubtedly be also greatly enjoyed by babies and toddlers! However, do all in your power to ensure the safety of the youngest members if your circle of friends and family includes young children who frequent your backyard pool. Swimming pools can result in increased exposure to direct sunshine, which can harm delicate skin. Many people prioritize the problems that can arise directly from the water, such as drowning and pollutants, but it’s also important to take careful precautions from the dangers of constant sun exposure to young children’s skin.
Minimize Sun Exposure for Young Skin
Babies and toddlers who spend time in or around swimming pools run the risk of getting sunburned more than they would if they were only exposed to direct sunshine, because of water’s reflecting properties. In addition to being particularly unpleasant for infants and toddlers, sunburn can actually raise a person’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life if severe sunburn occurs during those formative years. The Skin Cancer Foundation has issued a warning for infants of all skin tones due to this considerable risk. Babies are more at danger because their melanin, a pigment in the skin that naturally shields it from UV damage, is still developing.
Guidelines For Preventing Dangerous Exposure
Keep infants and young children inside or in a shaded area between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest and most direct. However, we all know that the hottest part of the day is also the best time to cool off in the pool! Even if you want to let your kids swim in the pool during those super hot times, you can take some extra precautions to ensure their safety.
First, make sure that all infants are dressed in airy clothing that covers their arms and legs for protection. (Baby rash guard swimwear is easily obtainable.) Additionally, make sure that every child is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective eyewear.
Best Practices & Recommendations for Sunscreen
Sunscreen shouldn’t be used on infants younger than six months, therefore you should exercise extra caution while exposing them to the sun. However, children 6 months and older can gain advantages from having sunscreen applied to any exposed skin. Make sure the sunscreen you use has an SPF of 15 or higher and lists titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as active components. Also suggested is broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen.
In addition to selecting the appropriate sunscreen, you should also pay attention to how it is applied. That entails applying it to all exposed body parts, such as the neck, ears, and backs of hands. Always prepare ahead of time and put on sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside. If the youngster goes in the pool or is in any other way exposed to water, reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently.
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