Smart Sunscreen Tips for Babies and Kids

Smart Sunscreen Tips for Babies and Kids

While sunny days are a joy, they can also be dangerous. Every year, melanoma kills thousands. Five severe sunburns can increase a person’s chances of getting serious skin cancer. Sun protection is simple and can save your skin and your life. Sun safety is even more important for children and babies, particularly vulnerable to the sun’s harsh beams.

While sunny days are a joy, they can also be dangerous. Every year, melanoma kills thousands. Five severe sunburns can increase a person’s chances of getting serious skin cancer.

Sun protection is simple and can save your skin and your life. Sun safety is even more important for children and babies, particularly vulnerable to the sun’s harsh beams.

These are some tips that you should follow before you have fun in the sun.

Sunscreen alternatives are recommended for babies younger than 6 months.

Babies should not wear sunscreen under six months of age. Protect your baby in other ways. Find a shaded spot to sit or put the stroller canopy to work. Then, dress your baby in a sun hat.

Mineral sunscreens are worth considering.

There are two types: 1) mineral sunscreens that form a UV-deflecting layer on the skin; and 2) chemical sunscreens that create a chemical reaction which transforms UV rays into heat. The FDA has determined that only two of the 16 active ingredients in sunscreen are safe and effective. These are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are the ingredients that you will find in mineral sunscreen. The jury is still out about other ingredients in chemical sunscreens…some of them get absorbed into our skin. One chemical, oxybenzone, has been shown to interfere with hormones.

There’s still much to learn about chemical sunscreen ingredients, so you might feel more comfortable using mineral sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide contains a list of approved sunscreens.

Make sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen.

Your sunscreen’s expiration date is like milk and eggs in your fridge. A sunscreen that isn’t in its prime will not protect you as promised. You can’t read the dates, but you are certain it is at least three years old. Give that SPF the hoove-ho!

Avoid spraying.

While sunscreen sprays might seem like a convenient way to quickly treat your child, if they are inhaled, they can prove to be deadly. Aerosol sunscreens can trigger asthma and cause severe wheezing and coughing. The FDA has warned against spraying sunscreens on children.

Before you apply sunscreen to your skin, make sure it is tested.

Before applying sunscreen to your child’s skin, make sure it is a small amount. You’ll be able to tell if the sunscreen is irritating your child’s skin before he has it all over his skin. Talk to your doctor if your child experiences a reaction such as redness, itching, or a rash.

Sunscreen application is essential.

You need about an ounce to adequately cover a child’s skin. If you want to see a visual, it’s just one shot glass. You will need to use about half a teaspoon for a child’s skin. Stick sunscreens can be easy to apply too much, so use a thick layer!

Reapply, reapply, reapply!

It might seem like you are wrestling an alligator while applying sunscreen to your little one. But, it may be necessary to do that a few times. Sunscreen is not meant to be used all day. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and whenever your child gets wet.

Sunscreen is only one form of protection.

Sunscreen is an important part of sun protection. But it’s not your only weapon! Your child and yourself should be protected from the sun. Keep your child and yourself out of direct sunlight, especially during peak hours (around 10 am to 2 pm). You can park in the shade and protect yourself with sunglasses and protective clothing.

Sun can be endlessly fun for all ages, as long as everyone has some suspense!

Jess L.
ADMINISTRATOR
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