There isn’t anything more peaceful than a day at the beach. The sun on our face, salt in our hair, and sounds of our children distracted and playing. That is of course until we try to apply sunblock to our children. The peaceful sounds of the ocean become screams and cries, as we chase our child through the sand. If your children are anything like mine, then applying sunblock is an impossible task. However, providing proper sun protection is as important is having your child wear a seatbelt in the car or a helmet while riding a bike. Your child getting a sunburn, just even once every 2 years, can triple their risk of melanoma skin cancer. So today I have teamed up with one of my favorite partners KnowYourOTCs.org to give you 5 tips to successfully applying sunblock to your child without the meltdown.
Get them involved. The best way to get a child to do something is to let them be a part of the process. Help them pack their own beach bag! Let them pick out their own beach toys, help them fill their water bottle, and put their sunblock in their bag. Never underestimate the importance of talking to you toddler. They are able to understand more than we think. Many times if you explain to them that their skin get sick without this special lotion, they are more willing to let you apply sunblock.
Give them choices. It is important to establish that wearing sunblock is an absolute must, but giving them certain choices allows them to feel like they are in control of the process. Do some research on what sunblocks work best for your family and narrow it down to a few brands. Then let them make the final decision of what sunblock they want. My kids love the stick for the face and a spray for their body. Let them pick what body part they want to start with. Let your child start applying the sunblock first. This makes them feel like it was their idea and they are more willing to let you finish. Many times they become distracted when they are applying the sunblock, and you can quickly apply it to the rest of their body.
Imitation is the best form of flattery. There is nothing more power than a little sibling’s desire to be just like their big brother or sister. My daughter, Charlee, will do anything her brother asks her to do! Sometimes I will even have Mason start to help apply the sunblock and I will finish up. If you are traveling to the beach or pool with more than two children, a sunblock train is always a fun way to get them to apply sunblock. Please remember to double check your work to be sure the kids are properly covered.
Appeal to their senses. My daughter’s favorite sunblock is a company based out of Miami called Miami CoolKids. Not only is the brand 100% natural but it smells like cookies! Whenever we get to the beach, she always asked me for her “cookie sunblock”. If your child loves glitter, you are in luck! There is this really fun company called Sunshine & Glitter, that not only allows your child to choose the color glitter he or she wants, but they have different scents as well. If you don’t mind a little mess, Zinka makes all different colored zinc oxide sunblock.
Sunblock is not enough. Although sunblocks and sticks are imperative, physical barriers such as SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade are equally as important. There are so many adorable bikinis in the stores for little girls this summer. Close your eyes and walk away. They are an absolute no no when it comes to sun protection. Rash guards, hats and sunglasses are imperative to sun protection. Make sure to take frequent breaks from the sun and to stay hydrated.
Forever Freckled’s Checklist To Ensuring Proper Sun Protection
1. Make Sure it is broad spectrum. Broad spectrum means it protects against UVA and UVB radiation rays. The UVA rays can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and damage that can lead to skin cancer. The UVB rays can cause your skin to burn. All the information you need is on the label.
2. Make sure it has a high SPF. It is important your sunblock is a minimum of SPF 30 as it blocks 97% of the UVB rays when applied (and re-applied) correctly.
3. Make sure to use enough. When lathering yourself or your kids with sunscreen, the total amount needed is roughly one ounce, or the size of a golf ball, which is a helpful way to visualize about how much sunscreen you need for proper coverage. While one ounce for an entire body may seem like a lot, for adults that is often what it takes! Using sun protective clothing can also help reduce the surface area you have to cover!
4. Make sure you apply at the right time. Ideally, you should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure. And then re-apply based on your activity. Sunscreen needs to be re-applied AT LEAST every 2 hours or more frequently if you are getting wet or sweating. One helpful way to remember that it’s time to re-apply sunscreen is to set a timer on your phone. Make sure to read the label because it will specify how long the sunscreen will remain water-resistant. With high outdoor activity, a good rule of thumb is to re-apply sunscreen every hour of play to be on the safe side.
5. Make sure to apply it appropriately. Never spray sunscreen directly on a child’s face. Spray it on your hands and then apply it to his/her face. Have children hold their breath and close their eyes when you spray sunscreen on them.
I hope this helps with your journey!
I’m proud to take part as a blogging ambassador with the CHPA (Consumer Healthcare Products Association) Educational Foundation and KnowYourOTCs.org. This is a sponsored post! While I have received compensation from the CHPA Educational Foundation, all opinions are my own.