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Smarter Health: Kid Sun Safety

Posted by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 34 Replies

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?

by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ruby Member on May. 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

We probably should be better about this. I think we have Coppertone 50spf. I always put it on them when they go in water or if I know they will be in sun for a long time.

by CeeCee on May. 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM

My children are teens now but I use to use Water Babies.

by Ruby Member on May. 22, 2012 at 7:29 AM
We always put sunscreen on, everyone. I take it very seriously. My children might complain a little, but they deal with it if they want to be outside! My oldest ones don't squirm, my little one is starting to, but I get every part I need to.
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM

We always put it on before they get in the pool and then about every hour we do another application of it.

by Christa on May. 22, 2012 at 9:45 AM
i put it on them if we are outside for long periods or in a pool.
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by Ruby Member on May. 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM

 don't have a sunscreen routine.  put it on when needed & that's it. 

by Tiff on May. 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I make them drink lots of water!!! I also put sunscreen on before they get dressed, once they are outside playing, and then I continue to apply it throughout the day.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

 Same here.

Quoting lizzig:

 don't have a sunscreen routine.  put it on when needed & that's it. 


by Greta on May. 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM
I make sure she gets sunscreen if we'll be in the sun. I had some really bad burns as a kid & want to spare her from that pain.
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by Amanda on May. 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM

I put it on about 15 minutes before we go out in the sun. Also, I try to buy sunscreens that make this list:

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