Anyone who has ever taken kids to the beach knows that it’s fun for the kids, but can sometimes be a hassle for whoever is in charge. For parents it can mean the constant chore of sunscreen application and reapplication. To curb the sun care battle and make sun protection a routine part of outdoor play, parents can take a few simple steps now to help ensure sun safety all summer long.
Sun protection is an essential part of any outdoor activity because the sun produces invisible rays known as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB), which cause sunburn and sun damage. Harmful UV rays are more intense in the summer, which makes right now the perfect time for parents to develop their summer sun care strategy.
“The more sun exposure children get, the greater their chances of long-term skin damage,” said Dr. David Leffell, Professor of Dermatology & Surgery at Yale School of Medicine. “When children are playing in the sun and surf, they have specific sun care needs.”
Here are some sun care tips to help create your family’s sun care strategy:
• Stage a coverup-Wear dark-colored, tightly woven clothing, along with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Cover all the bases-It’s easy to overlook spots like your ears, neck, shoulders and the back of your neck, but they need sunscreen, too. So does your scalp, if your child has thin or short hair.
• Reapply, reapply, reapply -Slap on another coat of sunscreen as needed–and be sure to reapply after swimming, perspiring, vigorous activity or toweling off.
• Select sunscreens that can keep up with kids-When children are playing in the sun and surf, they have specific sun care needs. Use waterproof sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher, and look for products that are quick and easy to apply to squirmy kids, like COPPERTONE KIDS® CONTINUOUS SPRAY SPF 50. (Keep babies under 6 months of age out of the sun and consult a doctor before applying sunscreen.)
• Be a shade seeker-Duck the sun’s rays the obvious way: Stay in the shade whenever possible! Avoid outdoor activities when the sun’s rays are strongest (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).
Families can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe by having a solid action plan in place that includes cover-up clothing, timely activities and the right sunscreen.
Sunscreen manufacturers offer a variety of products to protect children’s skin from the harmful effects of the sun. The makers of Coppertone®, America’s original sunscreen, recently launched COPPERTONE KIDS® CONTINUOUS SPRAY SPF 50, a sunscreen that offers quick and even coverage at the touch of a button. The clear, no-rub formula and twist-lock cap eliminate spills and messy hands and make reapplication a breeze-especially when dealing with on-the-go kids. This SPF 50 formulation contains the sunscreen ingredient avobenzone for broad-spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
“The convenience offered through continuous-spray sunscreens is especially helpful in protecting children from the harmful effects of the sun because parents will be more willing to apply and reapply, which is a critical factor in better sun protection,” said Dr. Leffell.
Being strategic about sun exposure combined with proper sunscreen use will help decrease the chance of sunburn and the potential of some types of skin cancer down the road. By planning their sun care strategy in advance, parents can enjoy outdoor family activities such as playing in the waves and watching the sun set.