Sunscreen Tips for Kids

Sun safety should remain a top priority for the whole family.

Summer break is upon us. The kids are scrambling to get outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. Be it at the pool, the beach, camping, or amusement parks, sun safety should remain a top priority for the whole family.

While a solar defense wards off premature aging, it also helps in the fight against skin cancer. Considering that individuals encounter their largest percentage of sun exposure at 18 years and under, the education moms and dads  can provide their children regarding sun safety is vital.

According to health professionals, sunscreen can be applied on children as young as 6 months old. If a bottle of sunscreen is already on hand from last summer, the best piece of advice is to replace it. Even if the expiration date hasn’t passed, the ingredients lose their potency after a bottle has been open a few months; So do err on the side of caution and purchase a new sunscreen.

Product choices can be overwhelming, but it’s important to note that professionals recommend mineral-based products for kids. Top ingredients in this product are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

It also appears that people are not applying enough sunscreen – the rule of thumb is an ounce of sunscreen. Also recommended is a water-resistant sunscreen with a broad spectrum of SPF 30 or more.

A spray sunscreen may be easier to apply on a child, but do know that a lotion offers the same type of defense. For many parents, it’s a personal preference on what they like best.

Here are some other sun safety tips:

  • Apply sunscreen about 20 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours.
  • Reapply sunscreen when the kids come out of the water.
  • Provide shade and seek it when possible.
  • Avoid spending too much time outdoors between the hours of 11 am to 2 pm when the sun is most powerful.
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of the body, and don’t neglect the tops of hands and feet, and ears.
  • Apply a SPF 30 lip balm, and reapply every couple of hours.

Other great defenses are wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Summer is a great time of year — make it even greater by staying sun safe.

For more information on solar protection please visit WebMD.