Keeping your child’s skin safe from the sun is paramount over summer. But it’s not all about finding the highest factor suncream to slather on your little one (though that is obviously vitally important). You also need to check the UVA star guide which measures the amount of ultra violet A (UVA) radiation protection.
UVA ages your skin and can cause cancer: 95% of it reaches the ground (as opposed to UVB, of which only 5% reaches the ground). Four or 5 stars for UVA is considered a decent amount of protection and it should be easy to see either on the front or the back of the bottle if the one you’ve already got in the house makes the grade.
It’s really important to know what UVA protection your getting from your sunscreen. As one nanny, named Carly Jayne, wrote on Facebook:
“When buying suncream PLEASE make sure you check the UVA star guide! One of the ‘good’ brands, deemed very high protection, has 3 stars and £7 a bottle, but I’ve seen a supermarket own brand at £3 that has 5 stars.
“Children burning whilst using SPF 50+ shouldn’t be happening!
“My main point for this post is: people assume factor 50 “very high protection” is enough, when in reality these high protection creams should be higher in UVA/UVB protection. Three stars isn’t sufficient!”
Indeed, 4 or 5 stars for UVA is considered a decent amount of protection – The British Association of Dermatologists, on their website, tends to agree:
“A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and a UVA rating of 4 or 5 stars is generally considered as a good standard of sun protection in addition to shade and clothing.”
Mind, most suncreams in the UK should have this UVA rating already.
But we still think this is useful to know if you’re heading off somewhere sunny – just in case.