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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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The ABCs of Proper Sunscreen Application

Written by Aneta Alaei

Who else is daydreaming of days lounging in the sun with your LO’s? Before you make plans to head out make sure you know the ABCs of proper sunscreen application for kids.

I will be the first to admit that it wasn’t until I was a few too many years into my motherhood journey that I finally figured out how to use sunscreen properly. Between the teething, milestones, and first “everythings” I somehow put proper sunscreen application to the backburner.

I focused on proper car seat installations and making sure they were up to date on their vaccinations when there was something else I needed to be doing to keep them safe, applying sunscreen properly.

As much as I wanted to thrive in those days and do everything right, I was in survival mode trying to keep babies alive and safe so I would haphazardly apply once every time I was spending excessive time outside and I truly believed I was doing it right. Thankfully a more experienced mama filled me in on the proper way to apply sunscreen and we haven’t looked back since.

ABCs of Proper Sunscreen Application

I know that this information is important for both new and seasoned moms because there is not enough emphasis on this part of parenting. I find everyone wants to offer tips on how to discipline your kids or help you figure out how to teach them to read but nobody was like “hey sunscreen is a big deal, ok?” I am here to tell you it is and there are so many great options.

Make sure you remember these ABCs of proper sunscreen application and start following them.

Apply Often

Did you know that you need to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading into the sun and reapply every two hours? If your baby is sweating, swimming or towel drying you also need to reapply. Make sure you keep sunscreen in your diaper bag and get in the habit of applying it before you head out the door.

Ball-Sized Amount

Imagine a golf ball and remember that your child needs you to apply around that much sunscreen each time they need it. Make sure you also apply on their ears, neck and feet if they are exposed to the sun.

Clothes Are Necessary

Kids skin is so sensitive, so it is important to make sure they are well protected. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that just because it is summer and hot, I should undress my LOs and let them play in the shade. I know now that they should be protected from head to toe with wide-brimmed hats, socks, and a cotton onesie. Make sure to get sunscreen on all exposed areas like ears, neck and hands.

Kids vs. Sun

Sunscreen is Your Hero. Lotions, sprays, mineral, water resistant, fragrance-free… there are a lot of options out there for sunscreen. But the most important part is that it provides your little one with a great broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage to help us keep your kids skin protected on short trips to the park or day-long adventures at the beach.

As parents we do our best to try and keep our children safe. That mama (and papa) bear vibe is strong! If we take it upon ourselves to get into a proper sunscreen application routine with our children early we can hopefully teach them the importance of it as well. It is so much easier to instill good habits from a young age instead of trying to fix bad ones. Now that the days of just surviving are long gone, I am enjoying being outdoors with my (not-so) little ones. Mostly because they can put their sunscreen on all by themselves.

It’s also important to note that babies under 6 months of age should not use sunscreen unless you have consulted your doctor first.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.