It’s a common sight at the pool and the beach…to see mothers applying sunscreen to wriggling children who are eager to play. But there is something very wrong with this picture. Sunscreen takes half an hour to get absorbed and start protecting your child’s tender skin. So make sure you apply the cream at home and especially for babies it is best to work in the sunscreen before you put on the clothes. This protects the areas where the clothes ride up from getting burnt too. Many parents apply the sunscreen once and think their child is covered unless they have been in the water. Experts, however, recommend that the sunscreen be applied every two hours and especially after each dip in the pool.

Mandy Parkson invested in SPF swimwear for her one­ year-old. “Anything I can do to guarantee he is safe is fine though this is more expensive….I’m even thinking of buying UV protected sunglasses. My family thinks I am either being too fashion conscious or too paranoid but… “She adds. A lip balm that offers a SPF protection of 15 or higher should be applied for children over six months.

For babies younger than six months the safest protection seems to be loose full clothes, a wide brim hat and protection under an umbrella or a parasol. After babies have crossed the six-month mark they can be safely protected with a sunscreen created for children. Doctors also suggest that if a child is on some medication, parents check with the doctor if that medicine could increase sensitivity to sunrays.