Sunday, May 3, 2015:

Summer Sun Protection for the Kids!

I focus a lot on personal skincare, an interest that likely started as a child while I'd watch my mom slather on sunscreen and experiment with the latest topical skin creams!  My father was a big proponent of skin protection- often covering us with t-shirts and blankets after we had fallen asleep baking in the sun.  I didn't appreciate this as a teenager- I always wanted to return from family trips with the deepest, darkest tan- a major accomplishment for this fair-skined Irish girl!

But now that I am a parent, I certainly appreciate their sun protection precautions and I find myself wondering what else I can do to protect my sons from the damaging effects of the sun.

Avoiding the sun is tough for us.  Once the summer hits, we are outside ALL.THE.TIME.  After doing some pediatric sun protection research, here's my list of the Top Sun Protection Tips for Kids.

Sunscreen- No brainer here!  I use an aerosol spray on their bodies like Neutrogena's Wet Skin Kids (Broad Spectrum SPF 70+).  Broad Spectrum is essential to protect from both the UVA and UVB rays that can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer.  When it comes to getting their faces, I use Aveeno's Baby Natural Protection Stick SPF 50- The stick is easier to roll over their face and I don't worry about the spray getting into their eyes.  

Full Coverage Rash Guards and Bathing Suits- I am constantly outside with my kids once the summer rolls around.  Even if we aren't at the pool, full coverage rash guards and bathing suits give me the peace of mind I crave while chasing my crazy kids around outside in the sun.  Covering a lot of skin helps me by allowing me to focus on hands and faces when it comes to applying sunscreen!  Even if their is no water in sight, I still like to use these swim outfits because I know I am offering them the best sun protection!  Check out Coolibar's selection of baby and youth swimwear- love this brand!

Hats- When my kids were very young, it was next to impossible to get them to keep a hat on.  Fortunately, my almost four year old loves a good baseball cap!  And since the little guy wants to do whatever his big brother does, I can finally secure a hat to their heads and know that they are getting some sun protection!  Ideally I'd like a full rim of at least 4", but I'll take the bill of a baseball cap if it means that they are getting some shade and protection!

Sun Glasses- I don't think many kids are concerned about squinting and premature wrinkles but protecting their eyes and the sensitive eye area is super important for these little guys!  Did you know that you can actually sun burn your eyes?!  Super painful!  Look for polarized sunglasses, like Babiators, as these cut down on the glare!

Zinc Oxide- Do you remember when all of the lifeguards on the beach used to wear this?!  I thought it was so cool.  Can we please bring this back?  And if I'm using my kids as sun protection influencers, than I will definitely be slathering on some Zinka this summer!  

Hydrate!- So this is less skincare and more overall hot summer healthcare!  During those long and hot summer days when we are out from nine am to dinner time, my kids burn a lot of energy!!  I love these bottles from Contigo- I fill them mostly with ice, top it off with water, and they sip them throughout the day!  Summer hydration is essential!

What am I missing?  Any other good summer sun protection tips for the kiddos?!
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