Summer is such a glorious time for children. They hop on their bikes, throw water balloons and beg you to pull out the old slip and slide. There are so many ways to enjoy the long, sunny days and warm weather, but as your children clamor to spend all day outside how do you ensure they have fun without getting sunburned? Here are a few tips to ensure their skin is well protected despite the harsh elements.
Create a habit of putting sunscreen on your children whenever they go outside for extended periods of time. Keep a bottle beside the door or right next to their shoes so you can remember to apply it before heading out. Before you purchase new sunscreen inspect the label and carefully read through the list of ingredients. Do your best to avoid brands that contain parabens, benzophenones,oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone. If your children have sensitive skin you should also stay away from scented products, which can be irritating.
Remember to apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Then keep track of the time. If you have an iPhone or a watch with a timer set an alert for two hours from the last time you applied sunscreen. When you hear it beep remember to reapply. If your child is swimming you’ll need to reapply sooner.
Young children can be quite squirmy, which makes it difficult to ensure proper application and coverage. Try using sunscreen sticks, which are not only easier to use but also less likely to drip. If your child complains of burning eyes then definitely try a stick sunscreen. Once you apply the product it is less likely to smudge and move around on the skin or into the eyes.
Avoid Peak Hours
Avoid going outside for long periods of time between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. This is the time of day when the sun’s rays are the hottest and strongest. Most children like to wake up quite early. Get them moving outside in those early hours when the sun’s rays aren’t as powerful. Then plan another outdoor activity in the early evening.
Sunglasses & Hats
Get in the habit of putting hats and sunglasses on your children at a very young age. If they are used to wearing a hat every time they go outside they’ll be less likely to complain about it. It also helps to take your children shopping with you. Let them choose a wide brimmed hat from REI. You can find a variety of water-resistant options that provide UPF 50+ protection.
Do the same when picking out sunglasses. Let them choose a specific color or a special pair with Superman or My Little Ponies on the side. They will be much more likely to wear hats and sunglasses if they pick them out themselves. Make certain you also wear a hat and sunglasses and point out that mommy and daddy are wearing protective gear too.
Dress your kids in lightweight, but tight-woven clothing that you cannot see through. You can go the extra mile by purchasing sun-protective clothing that contains a UPF factor of 30 or higher. If you don’t want to buy special clothes you can purchase a laundry additive called SunGuard from Jet.com. You can add SunGuard directly to your next load of laundry and receive protection up to 30 UPF on the clothes you currently own.