Our children love the sun and we recommend lots of outdoor playtime in the summer but we need to make sure that they are able to do so safely. Protecting them from sun damage is one of the steps that are important to ensure a fun and safe summer.
Why Should Children Use Sunblock?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), all children should wear sunscreen, regardless of skin tone and age. Babies under six months should not be exposed to the sun because their skin cells are immature and very vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
How to Use Sunblock Properly?
When choosing sunblock, we must understand that children’s skin is not the same as that of adults. Children usually have sensitive skin, so it is crucial to choose a suitable sunblock for them.
We recommend choosing a mineral based sunblock that is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based with a sun protection factor (SPF) equal to 30 or higher. Babies as young as 2 months of age can use a mineral based sunblock.
Children and teenagers must wear sunblock when exposed to the sun, whether it is a casual outing or at the beach or pool. Sun protective gear such as sunglasses, umbrellas, hats and wearing protective clothing like rash guards can all help with preventing sun damage.
Sunblock should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. Children should wear waterproof sunblock if going to the water, as water intensifies the sun’s rays even more.
Remember these basics:
- Sunblock should be retouched every 2 hours.
- Do not use sunblock with SPF less than 30.
- Apply enough sunblock. A good estimate is a shot glass worth to cover your body and a teaspoon amount for your face.
- Sunblock expires, always check the expiration date prior to using it and a good rule is to buy new bottles of sunblock every year