Summertime is one of the most awaited seasons by many kids all over the world. The school’s over and it’s time for daylong fun every day. Kids can build sandcastles in the beach, play tag in the park, or even go biking while smelling the fresh scent of warm summer. Unfortunately, it is also during this time that skin problems begin to develop which may eventually show several years later. The sun’s scorching radiation can damage certain cells in our kids’ young integument. We cannot stop the sun from shining its life-giving rays, but we can help protect our integument, especially that of our children, from excessive ultraviolet radiation. That’s why we’re presenting to you the 10 best sunscreens for kids in 2017 so they can enjoy the warmth of the sun while staying safe.
How We Chose the Best Sunscreens for Kids in Our List
To give you the best kids’ sunscreens we had to review current recommendations by various health organizations as well as regulating agencies. Since skin protection is vital in the prevention of serious skin conditions like cancer, we had to make sure we’re listing the correct products.
First, the product must provide a broad spectrum of UV protection. It must be able to protect against the harmful rays of both UVA and UVB light. While we know that UVB radiation is what gives our integument the reddish appearance and the associated pain of sunburn, it is the effects of UVA radiation that we would want to minimize as this has been associated with the development of certain types of skin cancer. Many sunscreens only offer UVB protection. That’s why it’s imperative that we get only those with both UVA and UVB protection.
The sun protection factor was also considered. While existing world health regulations have placed a limit on the SPF that can be written on product labels, currently placed at 50+, we know that an SPF of 30 is sufficient for protecting the integument of our kids especially if they will be staying on the beach or even in the pool for extended hours.
The ingredients used in the formulation of these products were also evaluated. Safety is a paramount concern. We may be preventing the development of skin cancer but, if the same substances we apply on the skin of our kids will result in other health problems, then it wouldn’t really be offering them protection at all.
When all of these were thoroughly evaluated, we ran the products for another pass, this time focusing on the product rating. A four-star product rating assured a kids sunscreen a place in our list. We also considered customer feedback and comments from reviewers. It’s one thing to base one’s knowledge on literature. It’s a different matter to listen to how well the product actually works in the real setting.
Tips in Choosing the Correct Sunscreen for Your Kid
If you want to search for the correct sunscreen for your child yourself, then it is important to consider the following tips in choosing the right sunscreen for your child.
- Always choose safe ingredients.
It is very important to always choose safe sunscreens, particularly those that contain retinylpalmitate and oxybenzone as these ingredients have been implicated in toxicities. Nano-particles should also be avoided. Safer ingredients are those that contain metal oxides like zinc and titanium.
- Always go for broad spectrum formulations.
Studies now show that UVA rays are responsible for the long term damage to cells and tissues of the integument which can lead to the development of melanoma and other forms of cancer. While the process is insidious, it can be mitigated if adequate UVA protection is provided. The sunburn that often occurs with excessive exposure to the sun’s rays is caused by UVB radiation. It is thus, important to choose a product that gives protection against both types of ultraviolet radiation.
- Choose the right SPF.
The sun protection factor of a product is very important as it represents the fraction of the sun’s rays that are able to penetrate the protective layer before it reaches the skin. For example, if you have an SPF 15, this is expressed as 1/15th, meaning only 1/15th of the sun’s radiation will reach the integument. The higher the SPF, the lesser is the amount of radiation that will reach the integument. However, because there are no clear studies indicating an SPF higher than 50 is sufficiently more effective than lower SPFs, many organizations, including the FDA, capped the SPF at 50. Manufacturers therefore, are advised not to put anything beyond 50. If they wish to, they can put 50+ instead.
The Bottom Line
Our kids need to enjoy the great outdoors especially during the summer. However, we must be ready to protect them as the sun can be quite harmful during these days. With these 10 best sunscreens for kids, you can bet your kids are in safe hands.