Childs Farm fact sheets and videos

little girl playing doctors with teddy bearChildhood is a magical time, but it’s not without its perils. As babies become toddlers and start nursery and then primary school, their close contact play with other children will expose them to all sorts of little nasties, from head lice to threadworms to endless coughs and colds. Here at Childs Farm, we’ve put together some essential info to help parents navigate their way through the most common childhood conditions, with top tips on how to prevent and treat them.

Winter skin

Winter brings challenges to skin, as we move between the chilly, damp air outside to the heated, dry air of homes, nurseries and schools. Dry skin and irritation from eczema can occur more easily due to the dehydrating effect of this change in environment, as well as that of central heating itself.

In our Fact Sheet about nappy rash, we talk about how healthy skin cells are full of water, which allows them to butt up against each other and form an effective barrier. Once we reach puberty, oily sebum is produced by our sebaceous glands, which helps trap this water. But before our little ones reach that milestone, moisturising their skin during wintertime (even forgotten feet) is important to ensure skins cells stay hydrated and plump, keeping irritation out.

Feed skin from within

All good pharmacies stock a range of supplements for children, but winter skin can be given a natural boost by eating well.

Choose fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C, which boosts the production of collagen. We all know about oranges and vitamin C, but higher levels are actually found in red and green peppers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, pineapple and kiwi fruit.

Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, barley, and whole-wheat bread and pasta, are packed with selenium which gives our skin its elasticity.

Omega 3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, oily fish, avocados and olive oil, keep skin hydrated. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which help relieve eczema.

Top tips for healthy winter skin

1) Moisturise your little one’s skin once or twice a day. Reapply to face and hands before going outside; red cheeks don’t only mean it’s cold, but that skin is getting dehydrated. An SPF gives extra protection when it’s particularly cold or windy.

2) Skin on hands is thinner than anywhere else, so moisturise often, especially after hand washing.

3) Make sure lips are well maintained too. We are big fans of Lanolips, but some eczema prone skin can be irritated by lanolin, so patch test first.

4) The scalp is skin too, and can also dry out at this time of year, so use a shampoo suitable for sensitive skin.

5) Hair is prone to static, so condition well. Use a detangling spray – the ultimate in conditioners – on static or tangled hair between shampoos. Minimise blow-drying as this removes moisture from the scalp. (A great alternative is the CuddleTwist by Cuddledry.)

6) Hot baths are very dehydrating, so run them warm but not hot, and keep them short. Use a moisturising bubble bath, and apply a moisturiser within 5 minutes of getting out.

Childs Farm can help

Our award winning, grapefruit moisturiser keeps skin super hydrated from nose to toe. Like all our products, it’s suitable for newborns and upwards, and dermatologist approved for sensitive and eczema prone skin

Great for grown-ups too!

Childs Farm moisturising shampoo in fragrant strawberry and mint, is packed with Argan oil, which prevents flaky skin and nourishes the hair.

Use our delicious-smelling hair detangler between shampoos to brush out knots and prevent static. It also contains tea tree oil, which deters head lice too!

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015

 

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Hand washing

Bacteria, or germs, are found in almost every environment on the planet. Many of them are beneficial, such as the ‘good’ bacteria in our gut that help us digest food. However, ‘bad’ germs wreak havoc, causing a variety of illnesses from tummy bugs to colds, to much worse… And the most common carrier of these ‘bad’ germs? Our hands.

Now wash your hands!

We have between two to ten million bacteria living in the space between our hands and elbows at any given time. After going to the loo, the amount of bacteria on our fingertips alone is double this number. These blighters can survive for up to three hours if they’re not washed off. They find their way onto other people when we shake hands, or if they touch surfaces we’ve touched. And they find their way into our bodies if we put our fingers in our mouths, eat something with our hands, or have even the tiniest of cracks in our skin.

Hand washing kills these germs. In fact, it reduces illness and sick days in the UK by up to a whopping 40%! It can save people’s lives – which is why every year the World Health Organisation conducts a global ‘Clean Your Hands’ campaign.

Skin hydration is important too

Healthy skin cells are plump because they are full of water and butt up against each other nice and firmly. When skin is dehydrated, the risk of infection increases because the packed barrier diminishes and bad germs can find a way to get, quite literally, under your skin. Dehydrated skin can also lead to cracks, which provide an easy entry point for bacteria.

Tips for effective hand washing

Washing your hands should take about 15 seconds: the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ or recite Humpty Dumpty.

  1. Wet hands with warm water
  2. Apply a natural antibacterial hand wash to cover palms
  3. Rub palms together
  4. Put one hand on top of the other and interlace fingers, then reverse
  5. Put palms together again, wriggle fingers and make bubbles
  6. Rub the back of your fingers with the palm of the opposite hand & reverse
  7. Grab hold of each thumb and rub up and down
  8. Make a fist and rub into the opposite palm and reverse
  9. Thoroughly rinse all the soap off your hands with warm water
  10. Dry your hands thoroughly. FACT: damp hands spread more germs than dry

Childs Farm can help

Our award-winning hand wash is kind, mild and safe for all skin types. It gets rid of dirt with a satisfying amount of bubbly foam, and contains organic tea tree oil – nature’s own antiseptic. This hand wash is guaranteed to leave hands clean, moisturised and smelling wonderful.

Follow on with Childs Farm moisturiser to fully moisturise and plump your skin cells, and prevent your skin becoming dry and cracked.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and the National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015

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Skin sensitivity & patch testing

At Childs Farm, we’re often asked what skin sensitivity looks like. In particular, we’re asked what you should look out for on babies’ skin to understand if they may be in distress about a skin-related issue.

In order to reassure you and address initial concerns, we’ve put together some pointers from our own experience. However, we must stress that if you are at all concerned or unsure, the best thing to do is seek advice from your health visitor, doctor or call the NHS Helpline on 111.

From our own team at Childs Farm HQ, here’s list of some of the things to watch out for, which could mean skin irritation.

So, what does irritated skin look like? It could appear in a number of different guises such as:

  • prolonged redness after bathing or washing
  • blotchy, red patches after using a new product
  • dry and/or flaky skin
  • swollen skin
  • rashes, bumps or sores
  • red, itchy skin

Irritation can occur for many and varied reasons. It could be an allergic reaction to a product (toiletries or detergents), or a reaction to a medicine your child is taking — or simply sensitive skin.

Patch test, patch test, patch test

For babies and children with sensitive or eczema-prone skin, patch testing is essential.

Patch testing allows you to easily identify which products cause skin sensitivity. Patch test detergents, fabric softeners and toiletries on your child before you use them. This will save an awful lot of upset later on if their skin does react to a particular product.

To patch test, take a fingertip of product and put in on the inner arm or behind the ear. Then wait 24 hours to see if the skin reacts. If there’s no reaction, then the product is safe to use.

However, if there’s any redness, itchiness or small hives that means your child is sensitive to the product. Don’t use it!

If you find your child has a pattern of irritation, keep a diary of their skin’s appearance, sensitivity and reactions. A health professional will find this invaluable when trying to diagnose the problem.

Childs Farm can help

At Childs Farm we work hard to make sure that none of our products will irritate young skin. 96% of our ingredients are approved by the Soil Association and 98% of our ingredients are naturally-derived. And even though we love the smell of essential oils, we make sure that we don’t use any essential oil that can’t be put onto a baby’s skin undiluted without causing harm in any way.

We also steer clear of common nasties and toxins such as parabens and SLSs often found in toiletries — even those specifically marketed for little people.

Our products go through rigorous clinical tests and user trials to allow us to make the claims we do:

✓ mild, kind and safe for skin

✓ suitable for use on newborns and upwards

✓ dermatologically tested and approved

✓ paediatrician approved

You can read more about our clinical tests and user trials on the Important claims & research section of our website.

However, we still urge you to patch test all our products, just in case your child reacts to any of our ingredients. We’ve put together a video about patch testing, which you can watch here.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and the National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case. Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015

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Head lice

Head lice are six-legged, wingless parasites that are about the size of a sesame seed. They cling to human hair and feed off the blood in our scalps. Head lice cannot jump or fly, but they can crawl very quickly from the hair on one head to another, or find their way from a strand of fallen-out hair to a new host’s head via a hairbrush, hat, scarf, pillow or other item.

A female louse lays eggs (nits) by cementing them to hairs close to the root where they’re kept warm by the scalp and are difficult to see. After six to nine days, the pinhead-sized baby lice hatch. In another seven days they mature fully and begin to breed. As each female can lay up to eight nits a day, a head lice infestation can soon become severe.

Children under 11 are particularly susceptible to head lice because of their close-contact play, and it only takes a month for a full-blown infestation to get started from just one egg-laying female. So what can you do to keep them at bay, or to get rid of them if they’ve made your child’s head their home?

Top tips for dealing with head lice

1) Prevention is better than cure. Head lice are tedious to get rid of. Combing them out involves weeks of careful combing and checking. Treatment shampoos and sprays are full of pesticides, which many parents feel uncomfortable about putting on their children’s heads. In any case, they kill lice but not nits, so it’s easy to get re-infested a week or so later. And lice are evolving to become more and more resistant to these chemicals. So, do what you can to prevent lice taking over. You may not be able to stop children playing close together, but you can teach them not to use each other’s hairbrushes, combs, hair ties, towels, scarves, hats – and even jumpers and coats. Anything, basically, which will have stray hairs (and possibly lice) on it.

2) Check regularly. You can stop an infestation in its tracks if you catch it early on. Wet checks are more effective than dry checks, as head lice move very quickly out of the light as soon as hair is parted, and so are difficult to see. But soaking wet head lice are immobilised. I make head checking part of my daughters’ shampoo routine. Leave the conditioner in and brush out all tangles with a wide-toothed comb. Then brush through again with a nit comb – our preferred comb is by Nitty Gritty. Check especially carefully behind the ears and at the nape of the neck (head lice favourite hangouts). Wipe the nit comb with kitchen roll each time you pass it through the hair to see if any lice are coming out. If so, comb through until you don’t find any more, dunking the comb in hot water as you go.

3) Check the rest of the family and clean the house. If one of you has nits, it’s likely others in the family will have too, so check everyone and treat if necessary. Head lice can only live for 24 hours away from a head, so you don’t have to fumigate the house. However, wash all bedclothes and towels at 60o; isolate items that can’t be washed at this temperature in a plastic bag for a day; disinfest hairbrushes and combs by soaking them in hot water; and hoover sofas, cushions, car headrests and all other places little heads have touched to get rid of stray hairs.

4) Spread the word. Head lice are not fussy – they will live on any head, rich or poor, clean or dirty, child or adult. There is no stigma to having lice, and it is very important to tell playgroups, nurseries, schools and friends so that everyone can check and treat. Otherwise, you will spend time and effort getting rid of your child’s lice, only to be re-infested – and the cycle will go on and on.

Itchy head? Childs Farm can help

Try our award-winning conditioner in fragrant strawberry and organic mint to get your child’s hair tangle-free so a nit comb passes through easily. Our bath time brush does an excellent job of spreading conditioner evenly through hair and getting rid of knots. Between washes, use our hair detangler spray. It has tea tree oil in it, which lice don’t like, and so will help to keep them out.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professional familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015

 

 

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Hair washing

Clean, condition, comb

Many children hate hair washing because it often means stinging eyes and painfully knotted hair. So what can you do to make the dreaded hair wash more fun for your child and less of a battle for you?

Shield eyes from water and shampoo

There are lots of great products that protect eyes from water and shampoo, while also being fun for little ones to use. A shield or specifically designed rinse cup mean you don’t have to dunk your child backwards in the bath to get their hair wet, or risk water and shampoo flowing in their eyes if they’re in the shower.

Choose a natural shampoo made with children in mind

Most adult shampoos contain ingredients that shouldn’t be used on children, like SLSs, SLESs, parabens and phthalates. Check ingredients before you buy, and choose a product that’s as natural as possible. Playful packaging that appeals to your child may also make them more willing to use it.

The scalp is a place commonly affected by eczema and irritability, so do a patch test before first use to make sure there’s no adverse reaction or irritation. Then, after shampooing, rinse well until all the shampoo has washed away completely.

Use a conditioner to minimise knots and tangles

Conditioner moisturises hair and makes combing much easier. Again, look at the ingredients of any products you’re thinking of using on your child to make sure they’re free from chemical nasties. Choose a conditioner that’s as natural as possible, specifically made for children — and do a patch test before first use.

After shampooing, smooth a dollop of conditioner onto hair ends (about the size of a 50 pence piece), then use a wide-toothed comb to spread it evenly through hair.

While the conditioner’s still in, it’s a perfect opportunity to do a nit check, as regular checking can stop an infestation in its tracks. Once you’ve got rid of all knots and tangles with a wide-toothed comb, go through hair again with a nit comb. Wipe the comb with a piece of kitchen roll each time you pass it through hair. If you find any lice or nits, keep combing until they’re all gone, dunking the comb in hot water as you go. Then rinse off the conditioner thoroughly.

Dry hair naturally if possible

Blow-drying removes moisture from the scalp, and makes hair prone to static and tangles. So, bundle wet hair up in a towel to keep little heads warm and PJs dry. Once their hair has dried, brush through gently to remove any remaining knots.

Wash hair only when it needs it

How often you should wash your child’s hair depends on a variety of factors — like their hair type, how much sport and sweating they do, or how fond they are of smearing their food in their hair! As a parent, you’ll know when your child’s hair is dirty and could do with a wash — if it doesn’t need a shampoo, don’t do one.

Childs Farm can help!

All Childs Farm products are made specifically for the unique needs of young skin and hair. They go through rigorous clinical tests and user trials, and are dermatologist and paediatrician approved as kind, mild and safe to use — even on sensitive and eczema-prone skin!

Childs Farm’s shampoo contains argan oil for its extra detangling powers, and our super-hydrating conditioner leaves hair smooth and knot free. Both are scented with strawberry and organic mint, so they smell amazing too. Our bath time brush makes hair washing a breeze by ensuring shampoo and conditioner are evenly spread through hair.

Between hair washes, use our hair detangler to brush out knots with ease. The ultimate in conditioners, it contains grapefruit essential oil to leave hair smelling wonderful, and organic tea-tree oil, which helps deter head lice.

Our tangle tamer hairbrush is the best remover of knots from anybody’s hair. It also has an easy-to-use handle, to help develop your child’s dexterity. 

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case. Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2016

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Threadworms

The first time my daughter had threadworms I didn’t react well. She had been complaining about an itchy bottom at bedtime, which I thought was due to skin irritation from excessive use of loo roll, or from not drying herself properly after a bath. However, when the itching continued I had a proper look and was horrified to see a white, cotton-like creature seemingly burrowing its way into her delicate skin.

Of course, it wasn’t doing that. Threadworms do not bore through skin. They live in the intestine and travel downwards at night to lay their eggs around an infected person’s bottom. The mucus they use to stick their eggs in place is what causes the itching. Scratching this itch then transfers the microscopic eggs to fingers or under fingernails. If fingers are sucked or nails are bitten before they’re washed clean, the egg is swallowed and hatches in the intestine. Eggs can also be left on any surface touched by an infected person, which means other people can easily come into contact with them.

Anyone can become infected with threadworms, but they are most common in young children. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all children under 10 will get a threadworm infection at some time or other. The tiny threadworm eggs can live for up to three weeks outside the body, and once dry become airborne and can be breathed in. The good news is, threadworms are pretty harmless and can be dealt with fairly easily. Unless your child is under the age of two, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you don’t even have to go to the doctor. There are effective over the counter medicines, which are easy to take. Children with threadworms can also continue going to school as normal, but it is helpful to inform teachers so that other parents can take preventative measures against infection.

Top tips to deal with an outbreak of threadworms:

1) Don’t panic. I was ready to scream at the sight of them and start scrubbing the walls, but threadworms are incredibly common and easily treated. If your child has threadworms, try not to look as though you’ve witnessed a scene out of Alien – they will be alarmed enough already, so keep calm and reassure them there’s nothing to worry about.

2) Treat the whole family. If someone in your home has threadworms, everyone has to take medication. This is because threadworms are highly contagious, and someone may be infected without having any itchy symptoms. Medicine gets rid of worms but not eggs, so you might have to repeat the treatment after two weeks. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or have a look at the NHS Choices website.

3) Wash all nightclothes, sheets and towels. Normal temperatures are fine, but make sure everything is thoroughly rinsed. Don’t shake sheets when changing the bed, as any eggs lurking there will become airborne. You might also want to wash cuddly toys if they share your child’s bed.

4) Damp dust and hoover. Wipe down all surfaces (especially door handles, taps, light switches and loo handles) with a damp cloth. Rinse this cloth in hot water as you go. Hoover the whole house thoroughly, and give bathrooms and kitchens a careful clean.

5) Put pants on under pyjamas. Threadworm medication gets rid of worms within a few days, but in the meantime wear tight fitting pants at night to prevent new eggs getting left on sheets or in pyjamas. Pop them in the wash first thing in the morning.

6) Have a morning shower. Wash your child’s bottom in the morning to rinse away any eggs that have been laid overnight. If you use a flannel, wash it straight away.

7) Establish preventative bathroom measures. Never let anyone share a towel or toothbrush. While there are worms in the house, rinse toothbrushes well before use.

8) Wash your hands! Eggs can’t hatch into worms if they’re not swallowed, so keep fingernails short and discourage nail biting and thumb sucking. Most importantly, make sure everyone washes their hands frequently – especially before eating or after going to the loo.

Childs Farm can help

Childs Farm’s award-winning hand wash can encourage children to wash their hands with its delicious grapefruity smell and funky packaging. If they’re doing it properly, it should take as long for them to wash their hands as it does to sing Humpty Dumpty!

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015.

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Swimming routine

splish, splosh, wash it off!

Babies and toddlers love being in the water. In fact, because babies spend nine months floating in the womb, they often feel more at home in the water than they do on dry land. By taking your child to swimming lessons before this early confidence wears off, you can capitalise on the many physical and mental benefits swimming gives them.

Brain training

A swimming lesson isn’t only a vital physical workout strengthening muscles, lungs and the heart, it also aids brain development. Did you know that swimming stimulates all five senses: touch, taste, smell, sight and sound? A project at Griffith University has even found that, by the time they start school, children who swim in their early years are six to 15 months ahead when it comes to counting and language.

Body building

Being in the water also aids coordination, balance and motor skills. There have been several studies done on this. One in Norway found that babies who swim grasp objects more easily than those who don’t. Finnish research found that swimming babies walked earlier due to well-developed muscle control. And a German study found that babies who swim had more advanced motor development and even social skills than non swimmers.

Bonding

Swimming enhances wellbeing by stimulating little ones’ appetites and relaxing them in warm water. It also allows for loads of skin-to-skin contact, strengthening the bond between you and your child.

After-swim skin care

The only downside to swimming is the chlorine in the swimming pool. This chemical can have a terribly drying effect on delicate young skin and hair — even more so if your child’s skin is sensitive or eczema-prone. So, after swimming, make sure you wash off every last drop.

Use a hydrating shampoo and body wash made especially for children. Read the ingredients carefully, and patch test before first use. To patch test, take a fingertip of product and put in on the inner arm or behind the ear. Then wait 24 hours to see if the skin reacts. If there’s no reaction, then the product is safe to use. If there’s any redness, itchiness, your child may be sensitive to the product.

Once they’re snuggly and dry, replenish their skin with a good-quality moisturiser containing as many natural ingredients as possible.

De-chlorinate your child! Childs Farm can help

Our 3 in 1 swim with strawberry and organic mint is a shampoo, conditioner and body wash in one. It cleans away chlorine completely, and leaves skin and hair hydrated and protected.

When your child is completely dry, smooth on our grapefruit and organic tea tree moisturiser. It contains shea butter and cocoa butter to rehydrate skin after the drying effects of chlorine. We also have a baby moisturiser, which contains the same super-hydrating formula, but is fragrance free.

All three products are clinically tested and approved, and dermatologist and paediatrician approved, as suitable for use on newborns and upwards, and kind, mild and safe for skin – even if it’s sensitive or eczema-prone.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and the National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2016

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Nappy rash

Skin science

The outer layer of our skin – the epidermis – protects everything beneath from dehydration, stress and infection. The very top part of the epidermis is coated with a fine acid film – the acid mantle – which is the first line of defence against bacteria and other foreign invaders. Skin cells are full of water, which helps them butt up against each other to form an effective barrier. Fats and oils produced by the sebaceous glands help trap this water, however, sebaceous glands don’t get going until adolescence (bringing the onset of spots). When skin is dehydrated the risk of infection increases as the packed barrier diminishes and germs can find a way in.

Baby’s skin

Baby’s skin is not only prone to infection due to dehydration – for the first month of our lives we don’t even have an acid mantel. This means a baby’s skin needs to be kept clean, as it hasn’t fully developed its protective mechanisms against bacteria. The most obvious place for infection to strike is the dirtiest place on a baby, its bottom. A clean and moisturised bottom means the risk of infection is much lower.

Cleaning baby’s bottom

Water alone cannot do the job of cleaning grease, grime, pee and poo. NICE guidelines will advise you to only use water, but clinical trials have shown that this is not the most effective way to remove dirt. The key is to cleanse whilst maintaining the skin’s slightly acidic pH, and to wash only when skin is dirty.

Top tips to prevent nappy rash

  1. Change often. I never cease to be amazed by the amount of mums who will leave a baby in a wet nappy because they think it’s only pee. In the meantime bacteria are thriving in a warm, cosy environment and literally getting under baby’s skin. A new baby’s nappy should be changed about 12 times a day, and older babies up to 8 times a day.
  2. Clean well. A clinically proven super sensitive wipe or a mild wash suitable for newborns won’t irritate the skin and will make sure baby is thoroughly clean. Childs Farm bubble bath is ideal for this. Always do your final clean with water.
  3. Dry thoroughly. Give baby’s bum a chance to breathe. Use a clean cloth to pat dry, then waft something to generate airflow. Give baby as much nappy-free time as possible.
  4. Moisturise. Ensure the whole bottom (but not the internal part of the genitals) is fully moisturised, and allow time for the moisturiser to be absorbed into the skin.

If any product, and this includes nappies, causes irritation to baby’s skin, stop its use immediately.

Childs Farm can help

Try washing your baby’s bottom with our organic tangerine bubble bath. It cleans gently and thoroughly, and leaves skin wonderfully moisturised. Follow on with our award-winning nappy cream to ensure baby’s most delicate area is fully protected against infection. Both products have been dermatalogically tested and approved as suitable for use on newborns and upwards – even those with sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and the National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.

Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2015.

 

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Playing it safe in the sunshine

Keeping kids safe in the sun is a top priority for parents today. We all know how much children love splashing around in swimming pools, building sandcastles on the beach, or even just running around in the back garden. But how do we allow them to do as much playing in the sunshine as they want, while still protecting their delicate skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays?

Understanding UVA and UVB rays

UV is radiation transmitted from the sun. UVA rays deeply penetrate the skin and are responsible for the tanning of skin, and are a major cause of skin ageing and long term skin damage. UVB is responsible for more obvious skin damage — sunburn and skin reddening. Both have strong links to skin cancer. A sunscreen with a high SPF will help block UVA and UVB rays, to prevent the skin from burning and the damage that can cause skin cancer.

Different sunscreens and how they work

Chemical sunscreens absorb harmful UV radiation. Natural sunscreens, which contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, reflect UV radiation away from the skin therefore preventing it from penetrating the skin.

It can be helpful to think of chemical sunscreens as sponges which mop up UV radiation, and natural sunscreens as mirrors which bounce the UV straight back off the skin.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. SPFs are rated on a scale of 2 to 50+, with the British Association of Dermatologists recommending an SPF of at least 30 for satisfactory protection, in addition to protective shade and clothing. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an SPF is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Theoretically, if you use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15, you can stay in the sun 15 times longer before your skin is damaged by UVB rays. However, no sunscreen, regardless of SPF strength, should be expected to stay effective for longer than two hours without reapplication. A SPF of 50+ will block over 98% of all harmful UV rays.

UVA star system

When you buy sunscreen containing UVA protection, you may notice a star rating on the packaging. They indicate the percentage of UVA radiation absorbed by the sunscreen in comparison UVB.

According to the EU Recommendation, the UVA protection for each sunscreen should be at least one third of the labelled SPF. A product that achieves this requirement will be labelled with a UVA logo — the letters ‘UVA’ printed inside a circle.

Top tips for staying safe in the sun:

1) Keep newborns in the shade.  Babies under the age of six months should be kept out of the sun completely! Keep newborns in shady areas or under a big umbrella, and make sure they’re wearing long trousers, long sleeves and a hat. Any exposed skin on hands or feet should be protected with a broad spectrum sunblock. If they’re not wearing UVA clothes, apply sunblock under their clothing too.

2) Cover older children with a broad spectrum sun cream.  Sun creams for children should be natural rather than chemical, and have a high SPF. Cover all exposed areas with as much sun cream as can fit in your child’s palm.

3) Don’t forget the little places.  Remember to apply sun screen to areas that are often overlooked, such as ears, lips, hands, the back of necks and tops of feet.

4) Wear appropriate clothing.  There are great UV clothes available for little ones to wear in the sunshine. Cover any exposed areas with sun screen, and also apply it under clothes which have no UV protection. Make sure your children always wear a hat and quality sunglasses.

5) Apply, apply and reapply.  Reapply sun cream everywhere, every two hours. Do this more often if your children are swimming or sweating.

6) Make sure your children drink.  To keep them hydrated, give your little ones a big gulp of water every 20 minutes.

7) Stay out of the sun during risky hours. The sun is strongest between 10am and 2pm. So during these hours, STAY OUT OF IT COMPLETELY!

Childs Farm can help

Childs Farm’s 50+ spf sun cream for sun sea & sand is suitable for babies and children from 6 months upwards. It is a natural sunscreen with an actual SFP of 66.8 (which allows us to say its SPF is 50+). It contains titanium dioxide — a naturally occurring mineral, listed as safe by the World Health Organisation. Titanium dioxide blocks harmful UV rays, causes less irritation to skin than the UV absorbing chemicals used in many sun creams, and is water resistant so it keeps young and sensitive skin fully protected. Our sun cream is also packed full of natural ingredients — such as sunflower wax and meadowfoam seed oil — to soothe, soften and hydrate.

Our star rating is Boots’ own system. They have rated our sun cream as ‘Good’. In order to gain 5 stars, we would have had to use a chemical which is a known allergen, and so the product would not have been suitable for sensitive or eczema-prone skin. According to the EU’s rating system, our sun cream is rated as ‘Superior’, and the UVA logo is allowed to be printed on our sun cream tubes.

Our luxurious after sun for cool skin soothes and rehydrates skin following sun, wind or outdoor exposure. It contains aloe vera, cocoa butter and shea butter—first used thousands of years ago in Ancient Egypt to protect skin from fierce sun and hot, dry winds. It’s suitable for newborns and upwards.

Both products have been rigorously clinically tested, and are dermatologist approved for use on sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS, and essential   guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case. Copyright Childs Farm Limited 2016.

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