Sun Protection 101
In the heat of prime summer months, skincare and sun protection are at the forefront of our minds. Whether you have a newborn baby, young toddler or brooding teen, kids never outgrow sunscreen. Below, we take a look at some core facts you need to know to keep your family safe—and sunburn-free—this season!
How to Apply: Spray sunscreens are perfect to apply on restless, fidgeting kids. Just be sure to apply thoroughly (experts recommend 30 to 90 seconds of spraying), and you’ll be set to enjoy a day under the sun. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to going outside. Keep in mind, sunscreen only protects the skin for a maximum of 2 hours before it needs to be reapplied. Reapply more frequently if kids are sweating or in the water, as sunscreen drips off leaving skin bare and unprotected.
Reading the Label: Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher. While browsing the shelves, look for sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum,” as this indicates it will protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Worried about ingredients causing harm to your child’s sensitive skin? Quality sunscreens contain ingredients that do not absorb into the skin, thus causing less irritation—most notably, zinc oxide and titanium oxide.
Sun-Protectant Clothing: In addition to seeking out the proper sunscreen for you and your family, donning sun-protectant clothing is a must. Loose cover-ups, long-sleeved shirts, large-brimmed hats and UV-protectant sunglasses keep skin covered and out of the sun’s glaring rays. Keep children (especially newborns) well shaded, covering face, hands and exposed skin if they have to be outside. Dark-colored clothing and bright solids block UV rays the best, as rays can easily pass through light-colored fabrics. So, the next time you’re out shopping for swimwear, think deep shades of blue and black or bright pops of color like orange and red.
DID YOU KNOW?
- A baby’s skin can burn in less than 10 minutes. Kids are at high risk in the sun, as their skin is more susceptible to sunburn
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreen is meant to be used for babies 6 months and older
- One, severe sunburn during early childhood doubles your child’s chance of getting melanoma later in life
- There is no such thing as a healthy tan. A tan is a sign of skin damage
- Avoiding sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. drastically decreases likelihood of getting burned