Monday, April 26, 2010

Dangers of Sun Exposure & How to Prevent the Damaging Effects of UVR on Babies

(This article first appeared in our FaceBook Notes April 13, 2010.)

The sun is getting stronger as we approach the hottest months of the year in Singapore and probably rest of South East Asia. While the sun is important in giving us warmth and allowing us to enjoy the great outdoors (as compared to the rainy seasons), the stronger UV radiation (UVR) can also have devastating effects on skins, eyes and our immune system, and in the worst cases increasing the incidence of skin cancer.

Do you know that babies whose skins are thinner than adults tend to be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of UVR? Yet in comparison, babies and young children are largely the most ignored when it comes to sun-protection. By employing simple sun-protection strategies for babies and young children the risk of skin cancer later in life can not only be easily reduced, they can also contribute to an adult's habit to stay sun-protected throughout their lives.

Simple precautionary measures can be easily undertaken by avoiding the midday sun, typically between 10am to 4pm when the sun is at its strongest. While you should seek shade with your baby when the UVR is strong, do continue to wear sun protective gear as shade do not offer complete sun protection. Some simple protective gear you should always have on yourself as well as your baby in a hot tropical country like Singapore includes:

1) UPF 50 Hats with a wide brim that protects the eyes, ears, face and back of necks (our recommendation:
2) sunscreen with at least SPF+15
3) good sunshades with good UV protection (if your baby will wear them)
4) tightly-woven loose fitting clothes

We especially love the UPF 50 hats from Sunday Afternoons that are not only stylish with a few designs to choose from, they are also easily acceptable by kids because of their soft touch.

So go on, enjoy your activity and babywearing times with your baby or preschooler in tropical Singapore and stay sun-safe!

Staying sun safe with Sunday Afternoon UPF50+ Sun Hats at the pool

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