Skincare Tips for Children
Kids spend a lot of time playing outdoors. That means they get a lot of exposure to the sun and are prone to bug bites. There’s no reason to keep kids indoors all day long—just follow these precautions.
Initiate early sun-protection behaviors, including:
- The regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- Select a sunscreen with the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide if your child is prone to skin irritation or allergic reactions.
- Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
- Seek shade when appropriate, and remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Bugs are another problem with playing outdoors. The most common bug bites are from fleas, mosquitoes, wasps or bees. Ticks are abundant in woods and forests or areas with deer trails.
Some bug bites can cause bacterial infections, such as impetigo, a superficial infection of the skin characterized by yellow, crusted, well-defined lesions. Impetigo is highly contagious and can be rapidly spread among children. Treatment includes the use of topical or oral antibiotics.
To avoid bug bites, apply an insect repellent with the ingredients permethrin or the chemical DEET. Repellents containing permethrin should only be applied to clothing. Permethrin has a residual effect through several washings and provides longer protection.
Repellents containing DEET should have less than 10 percent concentration if applying to children. They should not be applied to babies younger than two months old.