Here comes the sun! Aaaaand here comes the sunscreen. It seems like the recommendations change every summer, and it can be hard to keep up. How much sunscreen do you actually need? Lotion, cream, or spray? Does SPF really matter? Personally, I find it all strangely fascinating — I love the idea of being super prepared and protected from the sun (that goes for my kids too). Don’t judge, we all have our nerdy interests.
Why is Sunscreen Important?
Sunscreens work to protect you and your little ones from invisible UV rays that can cause sunburns, even on a cloudy day. Perhaps you have experienced this misery. Sunburns aren’t just painful, they’re damaging. UV rays can change the DNA in your skin cells and potentially cause problems that may lead to skin cancer. Yup, we’re not kidding around.
According to Health Canada, babies are much more sensitive to the sun’s effects than adults are. So, if you’re spending time outside, make sure your baby is safe in the shade, with appropriately adorable wide-brimmed sun hat and loose-fitting clothes that cover their skin. A mineral-based sunscreen, such as , can help protect a baby’s sensitive skin from the sun. Its gentle formula is made with 25% fewer ingredients and made without oxybenzone and parabens; however, if your little one is under 6 months old, ask your health professional about sunscreen application, as most sunscreens are only approved for babies 6 months of age and older.
Make sure you’re applying sunscreen properly and try using a sunscreen formulated for kids or babies to protect your child from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether you’re going for a picnic, heading to the beach, playing tag in the backyard, or splashing in the kiddie pool, sunscreen is important for everybody.
Let’s face it, you’re not going to avoid the sun completely; you’re not a vampire. So lather your little one (and yourself!) with a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
Sunscreen Safety Tips:
- Apply a golf-ball sized portion (about 1 oz. or 2 tbsp.) of sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outside.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- Kids can get sweaty! Reapply if they’ve been running around a lot or swimming, and immediately after towel drying.
- Wear protective clothing like a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Aim to stay in the shade as much as possible if you’re outside for an extended period of time.
- For babies under 6 months of age, consult your doctor before using any sunscreen.
Well, with that checklist and my sunscreen, I’m certainly ready to spend some time in the sunshine with my kiddos. How about you?
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.