Summer is here, and you and the family are likely to get out and catch some rays. However, you need to be sure to protect your kids and babies delicate skin from sunburn. If you’re planning on spending time outside, it’s important to always be prepared with sunscreen.
How to choose a sunscreen for your kids and babies
First, we want to remind parents that children under 6 months of age should avoid direct sunlight altogether. If they are out and about with you, be sure to dress them in lightweight clothes that cover their limbs and shade their faces. For your older kids, there are 3 important things to look for in a sunscreen.
- The sunscreen is SPF 15 or above
- The sunscreen has “broad spectrum” protection which blocks both UVA and UVB rays
- The sunscreen is water resistant which means it can protect skin for up to 40-80 minutes in water.
Cream sunscreens are best used on dry skin and provide the best coverage. Gel sunscreens are great for areas with lots of hair, like the scalp. Spray sunscreens should be avoided as they don’t usually provide the best or most accurate coverage and can be inhaled.
When, Where, and How to Properly Use Sunscreen
It is important to follow the directions on the sunscreen’s label. In addition to those guidelines, we recommend the following.
- Apply sunscreen to your children 15-30 minutes before outside play.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen on the face, ears, hands, feet, neck, and shoulders. These areas are often missed.
- If you are planning on swimming, be sure to apply sunscreen under swimsuit straps.
- Use a generous amount of sunscreen. We recommend an ounce of sunscreen for full-body coverage.
- Reapply sunscreen to your children every 2 hours or after they have been wet (whether that is from sweat or swimming.)
- Regardless of the water-resistant labels on sunscreens reapply when you kids get out of the water.
In the case that your child gets a sunburn, read our post here on How To Treat a Child’s Sunburn