Sun safety

Sun safety

Simple steps to protect their skin and eyes

Keep your child cool and protect them from the sun and heat. Babies under six months should be kept out of the sun and older children should be allowed in the sun for a limited time only, and their skin should be well protected. Stay out of the sun, especially during the middle of the day. All types of skin, fair or dark, need protection.

As parents we can take simple measures to protect our children. Remember babies and toddlers are not interested in tanning and sunburn can cause damage to their skin.

Attach an effective sunshade to the pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight. A sun hat, with a wide brim or a long flap at the back, will protect your child's head and neck. Use loose long sleeved clothing. Apply a thick layer of high SPF suncream 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow time for it to absorb into the skin. Reapply a thick layer every two hours, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or a paddling pool. Don't forget behind the ears, backs of the hands and the soles of the feet on the beach.

If your baby is under six months, offer more fluids and if breastfeeding, breastfeed more often. If your baby is over six months old encourage them to drink water. For older toddlers and children, plenty of fruit will also help to keep their fluid levels up.

If you’re making a journey in the car, do make sure your car has a sunshade to protect your child. Take drinking water for the journey and ensure children do not become overheated. Never leave children in cars parked in the sun.


Pharmacist says

The higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) the more protection. Use a complete sun block on your baby or toddler. SPFs of up to 60 are available which block out almost all of the sun’s rays. Even with suncream, keep them in the shade whenever you can and make sure newborn babies are never in the sun. Do not forget to protect their head, skin and eyes. For older children, you can buy sunglasses from a pharmacy. Check they offer 100% UV protection.

Vitamin D

Is your child getting enough?

Vitamin D is important for good health, strong bones and growth. Most foods contain very little vitamin D naturally and it is mostly made in the skin by exposure to sunlight. However, you shouldn’t over-expose your child to the sun, as casual sun exposure is enough.

Vitamin D helps your baby's body absorb calcium, which is needed for the healthy development of strong bones and teeth. (See Healthy Start Vitamins).


It is a bright day and your child is playing outside.


Are they in the shade and wearing sunscreen? Are they wearing a hat, long sleeves and trousers?


Make sure you protect your child’s head, skin and eyes especially during the middle of the day.