We all need our sun (vitamin D) to stay healthy but did you know that just a few sunburns under the age of 18 can dramatically increase the risk for skin cancer later in life. Here are a few tips for keeping your toddler (or anyone) protected when playing in the sun.
Lather on the sunscreen. Use at least an SPF 30 Broad Spectrum sunscreen every time you are in the sun. You should apply the sunscreen at least 20 before exposure and reapply every 2hrs. For anyone looking for a more natural approach to sunscreen, try one that has zinc or titanium as the active ingredient. These are also great for sensitive skin. Make sure you purchase a new sunscreen each year because the active ingredients loose most of their potency with in one/two years.
Avoid the strongest rays of the day. The sun is overhead between 10am and 4pm so you should limit your child’s exposure during this time. A large umbrella can provide lots of shade. Also, pop-up tents can loads of fun for toddlers while providing the shade they need.
Wear protective clothing! Hats and sunglasses are not only adorable on little heads, but also very practical for protection against the sun.
Use caution around water sand and snow! These reflective surfaces magnify the UV rays. It is also good to remember that UV rays travel through the clouds so your toddler can get burned even on cloudy overcast days. It’s good practice to check the UV index before going out.
Be on the lookout for medication that increases sensitivity to the sun.
As always set a good example by following these tips yourself. You are your child’s biggest influence!