Everyone needs to bask under the sun occasionally, whether to get vitamin D or a healthy tan. It can be very beneficial to one’s health. However, your skin changes as you get older, and so do the ways you need to protect yourself — and since sun exposure can lead to several side effects over time, infants to the elderly need to take proper steps to mitigate those risks.
Just like how lifting machines and other equipment can help in aged care, taking extra precautions can help you protect yourself from the sun and ensure optimal skin and overall health long-term.
Infants under six months should never get exposed to direct sunlight as their skin is 30% thinner than adults, meaning they’re more prone to sunburns and other complications. So, it’s best to dress your baby in breathable clothing that covers their whole body and let them wear a hat.
For babies older than six months, you can now expose them to the sun, but it’s still best to keep it to a minimum, and you should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you’re going out with your baby to protect them from UV rays. When in the car, it’s also wise to make it safe for your baby, so invest in a removable mesh shield and install them to your car windows to keep UV rays from penetrating the glass and reaching your baby.
You should also follow the same guidelines for babies older than six months, but you can apply small amounts of sunscreen to exposed areas, such as their hands. When buying sunscreen for babies, make sure to choose one with a tear-free formula.
When your child reaches the 2- to 3-year mark, it’s relatively safe for them to get exposed to the sun longer. However, it’s best if you still apply a broad-spectrum screen with 30 SPF to their exposed skin every two hours. Go for water-resistant formulas if your child is playing outside or going for a swim.
As your children are old enough to attend school and participate in outdoor activities, you need to teach them how to use sunscreen properly. They can now get exposed as much as how a grown adult would. However, their skin is still relatively thin, making them susceptible to getting sunburnt or developing other skin conditions — so teach them how to apply sunscreen whenever they are at recess or participating in sports at school. The same guidelines apply to teens.
Although your skin gets thicker as you grow older, you still need to wear sunscreen when going on outdoor activities. That’s because besides protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays, it can reduce your risk of skin cancer, helping you make your skin healthy and young-looking long-term.
As you get older, expect your skin to get thinner, drier, and more prone to skin conditions. That’s why whenever you get outside, it’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, use long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats to protect yourself fully.
Although spending time outdoors in the sun can be beneficial for one’s health, being exposed to too much of the sun’s UV rays can cause several complications. From skin damage to skin cancer — all these can happen from too much exposure. So, be diligent and know how much exposure is safe for your age and what you can to protect yourself.