5 summer sunscreen tips every parent should know

Summer is in full swing and if you’re like us, you and the kiddos are spending every waking hour taking advantage of water activities to help beat the heat!

With all the pool trips, water balloon fights and good ol’ playtime with the yard hose comes lots of exposure to the sun. And if there’s anything those tanning beds of our high school days have taught us, it’s that UV rays are NOT our friends.

We recently learned there’s a lot more to sun protection than slathering on sunscreen once at the beginning of the day. Read on for the best takeaway tips for you and your kids!


Buy the right sunscreen. Not all sunscreens are created equal. Look for sunscreen that mentions both UVA and UVB protection, and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Avoid sunscreen that contains hormone-disrupting oxybenzone.

Apply before you get in the sun. Sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to reach its full effectiveness, so if you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is still susceptible to burn.

Reapply often. Even water-resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied every time you get out of the water for a rest. You also need to reapply every hour even if you’re not in water, or as often as the bottle says.

Stick to creams. Spray-on sunscreens are harder to ensure coverage with, and release harmful chemicals into the air you breathe. Doctors advise parents against using spray-on sunscreen on babies, so it’s most wise to stick with cream sunscreen for the whole family.

Use other ways to cover up. Sunscreen blocks some of the sun’s rays, but even the strongest creams can’t completely protect your skin. For the best coverage, wear wide-brim hats, sunglasses and protective clothing. Children under 6 months should be especially covered up, since they do not yet have the melanin needed to protect their skin.


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