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Smarter Health: Kid Sun Safety

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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
Replies (21-30):
by on May. 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM
i try to do it when i know we will be outside for a long time. we also try to not play between 12 and 4 to avoid the most direct rays
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by Jenny on May. 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM
We just put it on. :) No tricks.
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by on May. 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

We burn easily so I reapply every hour we're out in the sun.

by on May. 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM
My kids are so pale in the summer because I keep them sunscreened so well, people stop me in stores and give me compliments LOL
by on May. 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM

 We apply every 2 hours initially about 30 minutes before we go out in the sun.  I am partial to the sprays but, I also have a stick for the face when needed.

by on May. 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Good to remember!

by on May. 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM


by on May. 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM
Thanks! For tips! Will help w/ my daycare...
by CeeCee on May. 24, 2012 at 7:13 AM

My kids are teens now but they still use sunblock

by on May. 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM

 Us too. We use aveeno (I think that is what it is called.)

Quoting Rushn311:

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.


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