The best way to prevent sunburn on kids
April 8, 2010 (WPVI) -- The sudden onset of record heat this week has thrown me into summertime protection mode for my kids. When I realized how warm it was going to get this first week of April, we bumped up our pool opening to last Friday.
Now, with swimming and general playing around, Luke and Emma are spending the bulk of their days outside. I feel like I'm constantly running after them with sunscreen in hand.
Last night, Luke was sporting red cheeks and I felt like a horrible mom for not lathering him up with enough sunscreen. It's a constant battle. Every time I get sunscreen anywhere near his face, Luke screams that I'm getting it in his eyes.
For Emma, the secret weapon is a sunscreen stick I tell her is like Mommy's makeup. She can't get enough of it now - great for avoiding sunburns now, but I'm afraid what this means when she starts wearing real makeup!
The best way to prevent sunburn in children over 6 months of age is to follow the A, B, Cs recommended by The American Academy of Dermatology: AWAY
Stay away from the sun in the middle of the day. This is when the sun's rays are the most damaging.
Block the sun's rays using a SPF 15 or higher sunscreen. Apply the lotion 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it often during the day. Sunscreens should not be used on infants under 6 months of age.
Cover up using protective clothing, such as a long sleeve shirt and hat when in the sun. Use clothing with a tight weave to keep out as much sunlight as possible. Keep babies less than 6 months old out of direct sunlight at all times. Hats with brims are important. But, let's be realistic: the time my children MOST want to be outside is lunchtime, the middle of the day. And, if your children are anything like mine, they don't want anything to do with hats unless it is to keep them warm in the middle of the winter. So, I'm relying on sunscreen to protect my little ones.
Forget SPF 15, I go 50 or higher for Luke and Emma's skin. It has taught me a lesson as well. When I was a teenager, I was a sun worshipper. I even kept tanning well into my 20s, even though I knew it wasn't good for my skin. I have the wrinkles to prove my early tanning years. Now, I join Luke and Emma with 50 SPF (I use a sunless tanner at times to give me a bit of a "glow.") I want to try to ward off any more wrinkles, but it more to keep any skin cancer at bay. After all, I want to be around to run after my grandchildren one day.
cecily tynan parenting reports, parenting, cecily tynan
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