Sunscreen Safety - How to Keep Your Littles Ones Skin Protected This Summer - The Koch Family
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Sunscreen Safety - How to Keep Your Littles Ones Skin Protected This Summer

Summer has definitely arrived, and with it, many Sun Safety concerns as well. The biggest concern by far with children is the importance of sunscreen. When is the best time to apply sunscreen? What SPF should I use? How often do I need to reapply sunscreen? These questions along with a few others will be answered in this article.

With so many activities to participate in with the good ole sunshine involved, it is a good idea to brush up on some Sun Safety tips before packing the gang off to the pool, park, zoo, soccer practice or simply playing in the sprinklers.

Sun screen is the easiest and probably most important safety concern to tackle. While there are a vast variety of brands and SPF's to choose from, just remember this: almost ANY sunscreen is better than no sunscreen! As a general rule, though, the younger the child, the higher the SPF number should be.

Don't underestimate the strength of the morning sun. Even on a pleasant morning, the sun's ability to burn is very powerful. A cloudy day can be deceiving too. While the risk of sun damage is much less when there is cloud cover, tender skin is still at risk in this weather. Apply sunscreen after arriving at your destination as to avoid it being rubbed off on the child's car seat, clothing, blankets, etc.

A very helpful hint for applying sunscreen to wiggly and impatient toddlers who cannot wait to dive into the fun is to purchase a sunscreen that has a spray bottle applicator. If the sunscreen that you swear by is thin enough, you can easily put it in a spray bottle yourself. The spray effect provides a very easy application, with not much "rubbing in" required and can cover a pretty good sized area quickly. The convenience of the spray is that older kids can apply their own and help get younger kids ready as well. Don't be conservative when applying the protection; in this case, less is definitely not more.

Looking in to the SPF factor is simple. The higher the number listed, i.e., 45 SPF or even 60 SPF, the more sun damage protection the lotion provides. A very young baby or child has more sensitive skin that burns very easily. Even 15 minutes in the sun can cause a painful burn. So the first priority to arriving in a sunny spot is to first, protect that sensitive young skin. The older and more active your child is, the more often you will need to reapply the sunscreen.

For example, if your son is at soccer practice and sweating, his sunscreen is being removed quicker. A child being pushed in a stroller won't be rubbing the protection off as fast. An easy trick to keeping the sun's damage away is to get your kids to wear a sun visor or hat. This will help to keep the direct rays of the sun off their cheeks and out their eyes. If you can manage to keep them on your child, sunglasses can be a very helpful source of protection against glare.

However you choose to spend your summer hours with your kids, be sure to keep them protected from the sun with a hat, visor or umbrella, but most importantly, protect their soft, young skin with sunscreen. Besides protecting your tots with the sunscreen, you will have a great opportunity to cuddle up when rubbing it in!


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