Do children need to wear sunscreen when the sun shines?



Written by:Dr. Chang Kit


With modern information flow is well developed, many health care-related knowledge is easily available. One of the things that people will increasingly understand is the importance of sunscreen protection. Too much UV light accelerates skin aging and increases melanin production, resulting in pigmentation. Although UV rays themselves are effective in helping to produce vitamin D and absorb calcium, Hong Kong is on the edge of a subtropical region and is exposed to more sunlight each year than the upper northern hemisphere (such as Canada and Europe), so even with sunscreen products, there are still many opportunities for exposure to the sun.


Don’t children need sunscreen?

Adults, especially women, are aware of the importance of sunscreen protection. This includes applying sunscreen regularly every day, replenishing sunscreen regularly and avoiding outdoor activities during the sunniest hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). In addition, you can also use a wide-brimmed hat and wear long-sleeved clothing. However, have you ever heard parents say, “Only adults need to wear sunscreen, not children? There are many parents who believe that children do not need sunscreen. There are three reasons for this.


  1. children need more sunlight to be healthy
  2. sunscreen is a chemical substance, which is not good for children’s delicate skin
  3. it’s not a big deal if your child gets a little more sun.


In fact, this is not the right idea. First of all, children basically don’t know how to protect themselves or how to avoid the sun, so they are “at risk”. Moreover, children’s skin is thinner and more tender than that of adults, so they are more prone to sunburn and sun spots, and therefore need more protection. On the other hand, the sunshine hours in Hong Kong and China are longer than those in Europe and North America, so the exposure to sunlight is already sufficient, so as long as there are normal outdoor activities, there is no fear of not having enough UV rays or vitamin D.


Choose the right sunscreen

As for the chemical nature of sunscreen, you should know that there are two types of sunscreens, including chemical and physical. The former needs to be absorbed by the skin in order to have a sunscreen effect, while the latter reflects sunlight on the surface of the skin. Therefore, if you are worried about the harmful effects of sunscreens, you can choose the physical type, such as zinc oxide. In addition, parents should not forget that clothing itself is also the most effective sunscreen, so wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are very important.


What will happen if you do not protect yourself from the sun?

  1. General blemishes and freckles, especially on the nose and cheekbones
  2. Skin sensitivity due to repeated sunburns
  3. uneven skin tone, especially if sweat spots are also present
  4. Roughness of the skin
  5. Microscopic blood vessels and cherry nevi on the epidermis


When parents understand the importance of the above sunscreen, they should no longer tell others: “Kids don’t need to use it!