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Experts: Apply sunscreen several times to children
On summer vacation but also at home, parents should ensure that their offspring have adequate sun protection. According to experts, five childhood sunburns double the risk of skin cancer in adulthood. It is best to apply the sunscreen thickly several times a day.
No savings should be made when applying cream
Parents should protect their children from the sun from an early age in order to minimize the later risk of skin cancer. No special children's sunscreen is needed for this, but as with adults, the motto is not to save money when applying cream. The experts of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ) also see it that way, writing on their website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de" that parents should use sunscreens abundantly and repeatedly for their children.
Apply sunscreen thickly
According to the doctors, the little ones should be greased every two hours or after they have been in the water or sweating. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor over 30 should be applied thickly and rubbed in a little. Those areas of the skin that cannot be protected by clothing should also be reached. Dr. Ulrich Fegeler, pediatrician from the BVKJ warns: “Remember to distribute the cream evenly. Don't forget the ears, hands, feet, shoulders, neck, and lips. Protective clothing, such as a brimmed sun hat, sunglasses, and avoiding the sun when it is at its peak, such as between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., are equally important. ”
Do not expose infants to direct sunlight
According to Dr. Fegeler should not, however, use sunscreens to prolong the stay in the sun, as they are only of limited effectiveness. According to the information, the creams did not lower the risk of melanoma, but possibly increased it due to a false sense of security. According to the BVKJ, infants should not be exposed to the direct sun at all. "Don't let children stay in the water for too long. On the one hand, the water reflects the sun's rays, and on the other hand, waterproof agents don't last indefinitely. The term "waterproof sun protection" only describes that the sun protection in the water is not completely lost. After about 40 minutes in the pool, these creams have lost about half their effectiveness, ”says Dr. Fegeler.
Knowledge of the need for sun protection
In any case, many consumers often use sunscreens with insufficient protection because they also incorrectly assess the effect of the sun protection factor. As the experts explain, a double sun protection factor (SPF = sun protection factor = SPF) does not mean that children are allowed to stay in the sun twice as long. Accordingly, SPF 10 still lets through about ten percent of UV radiation, SPF 30 about three percent and SPF 50 about two percent. The BVKJ also refers to a study on its website that was published in the specialist magazine "Pediatric Dermatology". Parental knowledge of risk factors and the need for sun protection in southern Germany is therefore "good, but not perfect". Surveys had shown that parents assumed that there was no danger if the sky was overcast. However, even with clouds, 50 to 80 percent of UV radiation can still reach the earth. (ad)