What sunscreen should I use for my kids? This has to be the number question I get as of late. What better time to answer it than right here, right now? First of all I must say it’s great to be a parent. Happy Fathers Day to all the great Dads out there! One of the magical things about parenting is we are the dictators. Although there may be a place for democracy in the family setting, as a Mother I get to say “because I said so” and “do it or go to time out”. I get to essentially force my children into doing things. Why? Because they can’t survive on Oreo cookies and cherry slurpies and someone has to keep them alive. After survival, I would also like to raise productive, good citizens into our world. So when my kids say they don’t want to wear their swim shirt or sunscreen I pull the Mom card, trump them, and they do it anyway. Since UV damage to the skin is a carcinogen much like cigarettes I encourage all you parents out there to do the same for your children. Teach them how to be healthy.
But, before sunscreen give them sunprotective clothing. Make sure they wear a wide brim hat, sunglasses, swim shirts and pants (yes pants). If you take this simple step, sunscreen for your kids will be so much easier!
Then pick a sunscreen:
Just like for adults you want broad spectrum, at least 30 SPF, water resistant and a physical blocker. To find a physical blocker look for one of these two ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. If your child’s sunscreen hits all 4 of these requirements and doesn’t irritate their skin you’re golden. Here are a few other tips:
For sensitive skin children, find a fragrance free physical blocker.
Look for less than 10 ingredients.
Some good brands are Bare Republic, Kiss My Face, Elta MD and the BOB.
Grab a stick sunscreen for around the eyes to avoid sunscreen in the eye.
If using a spray make sure to rub it all over with your hands for good coverage. A “spray and go” technique will leave areas of skin without protection.
If it leaves a white residue that’s a good thing. It allows you to see where you have good coverage. It’s hard enough to lather a two year old in sunscreen so I’m all about what makes it easier on me.
I’m glad to hear you’re all lathering your kids up this Summer. Now if we can all just work on taking care of ourselves as good as we take care of our children. That’s the real struggle.
Hope this helps you protect those little angels. Just think about how many brown spots, wrinkles and possibly even skin cancers you are saving them in the future! I guarantee you when they are young adults, they will be forever grateful to you for it!
Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad’s out there!