Sunscreen for children and young people

Your children's skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors. Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life.

The key is keeping your child’s skin safe from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays when he or she is in the sun. Here are six tips for reducing sun exposure:

  • The suns burning rays are hottest between 10:00am and 2:00pm.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Chemicals to avoid in sunscreens: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and homosalate. These chemicals can cause allergic skin reactions and change hormone function in the body.
  • Wear a hat and/or sun-protective clothing specifically designed to shield against ultraviolet rays (which can cause sunburn).
  • Sun protective clothing provides ultraviolet protection (UPF) of 30 to 50+. This blocks 96 to 98% of the sun’s harmful rays.
  • There’s no need for sunscreen when your child’s body is covered with UPF clothing.

Solait Kids Colour Mix Lotion

£4.49, Superdrug

A colour mix solution that’s a great way to get children excited about putting on sun cream. The colour rubs in and doesn’t stain the skin. Key specs – SPF: 30; Volume: 100ml; Protection: UVA and UVB; Water resistant: Yes; Age: From 6 months

Delph Sun Lotion

£5.48, Amazon

Delph is a vegan sun care range that is not tested on animals. It’s also prescribed on the NHS for patients with certain skin conditions – for a parent, this is reassuring as it suggests testing is rigorous. Key specs – SPF: 30; Volume: 150ml; Protection: UVA and UVB; Water resistant: Yes; Age: From 6 months

Solero Baby Ultra-Sensitive Sun Lotion

£7, Lloyds Pharmacy

Key specs – SPF: 50 baby, 30 kids; Volume: 200ml; Protection: UVA and UVB; Water resistant: Yes; Age: From 6 months. These pocket-friendly products are designed with ultra-sensitive skin in mind. Suitable for use on babies and children prone to eczema, it has a slightly chemical smell but it’s not unpleasant.

Childs Farm Sun Spray

£9.59, Boots

Key specs – SPF: 50+; Volume: 125ml; Protection: UVA and UVB; Water resistant: Yes; Age: From 6 months. Childs Farm specialises in hair and skin products for babies and young children, and with its sun care range it’s really thought of everything. The range includes a spray, a roll-on and creams in either SPF 30 or 50+, so there’s an applicator to suit all ages and preferences.

Evy Sun Mousse

£18.95 (price correct at time of publishing), Amazon

Key specs – SPF: 30, 50; Volume: 100ml; Protection: UVA and UVB; Water resistant: Yes; Age: From 6 months

Scent free and incredibly easy to apply, it just disappears into the skin without any mess, drips, splodges, stains or stickiness. It’s fun for kids, too as it disappears like magic!

By Anne Gilbert, Youth and Family Services Manager