How and When to Apply Sunscreen on Kids
5 tricks to get sunscreen on your kids[/caption] My hope is that you're enjoying long, playful, sunny days with your kiddos. Here in the Northwest, we're teased by one sunny day, followed by rain and even more rain. If however, you find yourself waking to azure skies, here are 5 Tricks on How and When to Apply Sunscreen for Kids to keep your family's sun exposure in balance. You likely already heed the advice of your family doc or dermatologist about cover up to protect from sun burn.
But when and how to protect delicate skin day in and day out with little ones who don't want to hold still to be slathered in zinc oxide goop is another issue. Here are a few ideas on how to get the sunscreen successfully applied and tricks to protect delicate skin through long sunny days.
Create a sunscreen dance routine. Infuse some fun into the chore by choreographing a riff on Hokey Pokey, or other family favorite, for sun screen application. Let the kids come up with their own series of moves so it feels like their own, but get things started with something like: you put your left arm in (apply!), you put your right arm in (apply!), legs, neck (that's funny and fun!), ears, nose, cheeks, tummy if exposed, feet, head...don't forget to shake them all about!
Layer, baby, layer! Here's great news. All clothing has an SPF level so you don't have to fret over buying an expensive SPF fabric shirt, just plan to keep kiddos covered in light colored and light weight fabrics. The SPF clothing provides great coverage and the material is usually nice and soft, so if you have these in hand, use them. Add hats with a brim and sunglasses with polarization to the mix. Choose hats with chin straps to stay on and in place. Let your little ones try the clasps to work on dexterity and have some ownership of their new accessory.
Reapply sunscreen when the ice has melted. This is by no means scientific, but it's an easy one to pay attention to and follow your family's sun exposure. When you're packing your beach/outing tote bring along a bottle of ice water (choose a glass or BPA-free plastic container). When the ice in your bottle has melted down, check on the kids and their sunscreen load. Ensure hats and sun glasses are in place too.
Reapplying sunscreen at the beach where sand is the enemy. For kids who'd rather not have a natural exfoliation treatment when dusting sand off to reapply sunscreen, have a damp wash cloth or hand towel in your beach tote to gently rub off sand before applying another coat of sun screen. Before you leave the house, wet the towel and place in a wet+dry bag to keep it damp. Bring 1 or 2 towels for each child and yourself too. Balancing sun exposure and protecting skin health are important for a lifetime. Don't be afraid to take the hard-line - no sunscreen = no fun in the sun! Enjoy!