Family day at the beach isn’t the only time you need to think about your kid’s sun protection. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays causes 90 percent of all skin cancers, so your child should wear sunscreen every single day year-round— no excuses! Read these tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
Everyone should wear sunscreen. People of color can still get burned and develop skin cancer. If you have skin, you can get skin cancer. Period.
Read the label. Some ingredients, such as PABA and oxybenzone, may irritate kids’ skin. Look for products specially designed for children; they often contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are typically gentler on sensitive skin.
Stick with a minimum of SPF 30. It doesn’t matter whether you use a spray or cream. With the spray-on type, mist into your hands, then spread onto the face. Look for a broad spectrum (UVA/B) product and apply 30 minutes before heading outdoors.
Don’t skimp. If your family uses the same bottle all summer long, you’re not using enough. Teach the kids to apply one ounce to all exposed skin areas; that’s about two tablespoons or an amount about the size of a golf ball. Reality check: During a day at the beach, one person should use about a quarter to half an 8-ounce bottle!
Don’t miss spots. Pay attention to oft forgotten areas such as the ears, back of the neck, hands, backs of the knees and tops of the feet. UV-blocking sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and swim shirts offer even more protection.
Don’t forget to reapply. Sunscreen loses effectiveness as you wear it, so reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating excessively. Even water-resistant and very water-resistant sunscreens last just 40 or 80 minutes, respectively.
Practice what you preach. When it comes to sun protection, your skin will thank you.