Children and the long Spanish summer holidays

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish school holidays

The schools have a few more weeks left before the long, long Spanish holidays.  Hooooray!!!! 

UV levels across Spain can reach the high or extreme range, peaking between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. Furthermore, we spend far more time outdoors as children, teenagers, and young adults – especially during the long Spanish summer holidays.

Day-to-day activities

The majority of sun damage to our skin is actually caused during exposure in day-to-day activities, not just during visits to the beach or water parks!

If you can see it, UV can reach it, so it is important to protect your child´s skin with sunscreen. Also, UV can reach the skin through wet clothing. For example, if you put your hand inside the garment and can see through it.

The “invisible sun”

Remember that even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays reach the earth. This “invisible sun” can cause unexpected sunburn and skin damage

We get around 80% of our sun exposure by the time we reach the age of 21. Therefore, the way we treat our skin in the first 21 years is crucial. Experts agree that avoiding sunburn in children and teenagers has a far greater impact on melanoma risk than a reduction as adults.

Every child needs sun protection. The lighter someone’s natural skin colour, the less melanin it has to absorb UV rays and protect itself. The darker a person’s natural skin colour, the more melanin it has, but both dark and light-skinned kids need protection from UV rays because any burning whatsoever can cause skin damage.

Young skin more sensitive

Baby´s and children´s skin is not as resistant as adult skin, it is thinner and more sensitive and therefore is more easily damaged.

Keep them safe with a water-resistant, sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection to reflect UV rays. Apply sunscreen to areas not protected by clothing and hats, such as the face, ears, feet, back of the neck, and hands.

Children aged under six months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight

Limited exposure by avoiding the hottest part of the day when the sun is strongest is a straightforward way of reducing risk.

Also read: Freckles in the sun

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