Let the battle begin. There are few children I know that enjoy getting slathered in sunscreen lotion, and about just as many moms who enjoy doing it. However, if anyone wants to get outside this summer, it must be done.
Pediatricians say that babies under 6 months should steer clear of sunscreen. So if your child is this age, just keep exposure to direct sunlight to a minimum. Use the canopy on the stroller, or drape a thin gauzy blanket over them, and just try to keep them in the shade as much as possible.
When your child is ready for sunscreen, make sure it has an SPF of over 30, and it is broad spectrum, which protects from UVA and UVB rays. Some people love the sprays, but I find that they don't cover as well, and you have to put it on outdoors. Putting sunscreen on before you go out is ideal.
For older kids, the key is distraction. Put the lotion on them in front of their favorite TV show, or while telling them a story they love. Start with the feet and work up, otherwise it's easy to lose track of what you've covered as they squirm around.
Make sure you get the bottom of their feet and in between their toes. Other overlooked spots include under clothes hems and bathingsuits. As they play, their clothes and bathingsuits are always shifting around, exposing skin to the sun. When it's time to do their faces, count to five. This way they know that by the time you get to 5 they're done. Don't forget ears, and if they won't wear a hat, get their scalp, too.
And of course, kids follow by example: Make sure you put on sunscreen, too.
What is your child's sunscreen routine?