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Sunscreen For Kids

Sunscreen is important-- but it's especially important for babies and young kids. Their skin is newer and more delicate, since it has less overall exposure to the sun. The sooner you protect your kids year-round from sun exposure-- the better off they will be into adulthood. There are lots of different kinds of sunscreens- physical and chemical. You can apply via a lotion or moisturizer, spray it on, or there's stick varieties. If your child is into sports or loves to be in the water, look into a sweat or water-resistant variety. SPF 30 is usually recommended as the base SPF for the ideal protection level.

Sunscreen may seem like not fun to apply before getting ready to jump in the pool or build a sandcastle. Try and make it fun for your kids! Teach them how to apply it properly. Make sure they reapply every few hours to stay protected. You can even make a game out of it! Encourage them to apply it themselves-- or even apply it on others with you. This includes sunscreen for the face, lips, and hard to reach areas. Don't be afraid to apply sunscreen to areas that are covered by clothing or shade. It can never hurt to apply sunscreen all over the body-- and too much sunscreen is never an issue. If it leaves a white cast- makes sure to rub it in as best you can. Teach your kids how to rub in the lotion or rub in the spray after spraying it on. Give them an adequate amount of shade if they are especially young, such as an infant or toddler. Their delicate skin can overheat easily in the direct sun- so it's best to give them hats and shade as much as possible to prevent overheating.

There are some sunscreens that contain chemicals that harm marine life and coral reefs. Look into the chemical ingredients in your sunscreen before you head out into the ocean. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- chemicals like Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, nano-Zinc oxide, Octinoxate, Octocrylene can impact marine life and coral reefs. You can look for sunscreens without these chemicals- or look for sun protection in other ways like UV blocking sunglasses, UV blocking clothing, etc.

Sunscreen protects you and your children from the sun's rays-- which also protects them from dangerous sunburns, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and skin cancer. A mild sunburn might not seem like much. Over time, however, your skin remembers the burned areas and that can impact your skin cancer risk. Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers- and it's easily treatable if caught in time. Be sure to check yourself and your kids for any suspicious moles or markings after a long day in the sun or a particularly bad sunburn.

Skin cancer is much more common in adults due to prolonged sun exposure over many years- but it doesn't hurt to show your kids how to check themselves for signs of cancer. If your child is old enough to get into makeup, consider showing them makeup that contains sunscreen. There's many varieties such as powders, tinted moisturizers, and even foundation and lip balm that contains sunscreen. Show them that they can be protected even just going to school or after school activities.

If you have any concerns about an area contact Pediatric Place for a consultation.

Make sure your kids are protected year round. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean sunscreen isn't necessary or ideal. The sun is closer to the Earth in the winter time- so while the rays don't feel as intense- it's still a good idea to have your kids wear sunscreen. This is also true for cloudy days. Clouds don't block the sun's rays entirely- so it's ideal to wear sunscreen even if the sun isn't shining. Climate change is depleting the ozone layer, which is impacting the intensity of the sun's rays. This will make sunscreen even more essential daily to avoid burns and other issues associated with the sun's rays.

Sunscreen may seem like a necessary step prior to beach or pool time- but the earlier you get your kids to start applying it, the better off they will be. Teach them how to apply it and apply it well. Encourage them to reapply after sweating outside or swimming. Make sure they know to rub it in if it's a cream, lotion, or even a spray. Check them for any burns or suspicious moles. Show them how to treat a sunburn using aloe vera and other remedies to soothe the burn. For your really young children, try to keep them in the shade often to avoid risks from the heat- such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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