Summer is on the way. Well, at least I keep telling myself it is while my husband is shoveling the snow. It’s never too early to think about sunscreen for you and your kids. The absolute safest way to keep your kids safe from the sun is of course to avoid it; we all know how impossible that is. Instead think sun safety.
Kids under six months old shouldn’t wear sunscreen so always opt for a hat if you’re going to be outside. Also look into sun safe clothing that blocks damaging rays. Target had UVA/UVB SPF 50 swimsuits for the last two years, you can see them HERE. Shirts and board shorts for girls and boys sizes 0-3 months and up. You can also purchase SPF canopies for your strollers.
For older kids sunscreen is the best option. I always go for the zinc oxide or titanium dioxide versions. These are sometimes referred to as “physical” sunblocks. This is because the ingredients sit on top of the skin and physically block the sun’s rays instead of them being absorbed into the skin before being effective. Besides keeping bizarre chemicals out of your babe’s body, this is great because it works immediately and you don’t have to wait for it to start working.
Sunscreen should be applied at least every 2 hours. This seems excessive, I know, but it does wear off. One bottle of lotion should last a family of four only ONE day in the sun. I have sensitive skin myself, so I choose sunblock without fragrance. I could care less if my kids and I smell like sunscreen, better smell than get skin cancer! Most brands that are marketed as “baby” sunblock aren’t all that much different from the adult versions, so you don’t necessarily need to buy the baby ones.
The most important thing is coverage, whether it is with a sunblock or to stay out of the sun altogether!