Sunscreen is a must for little ones. And with the sun’s UV rays strongest during the summer months, it’s a critical time to make sure they’re protected. Choosing a sunscreen can be tricky. With varying SPFs, water- and sweat-proof claims, and different textures (sprays, creams, sticks), it can be hard to know what’s what. Below, we guide you through choosing a sunscreen that is safe and offers adequate protection from UVB and UVA rays.
Here’s what to look for in a sunscreen:
Opt for Broad Spectrum.
All sunscreens protect against UVB rays–the leading cause of sunburn and skin cancers. However, only products with the Broad Spectrum label will also guard against UVA rays. UVA rays can lead to premature aging and contribute to skin cancer.
Choose a Sunscreen with SPF 30 or Higher
Did you know that SPF stands for sun protection factor? It’s calculated based on the time it takes for skin to burn when treated with the sunscreen as compared to no sunscreen. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97% of UVB rays.
Go with water-resistant.
When a product is labeled “water resistant”, it means that the SPF can last up to 40 minutes in water. “Very water resistant” can maintain the SPF for 80 minutes in water. However, it’s still possible for it to wash off while swimming or sweating. We recommend you reapply after each dip or strenuous activity to maintain adequate protection.Other things to consider when it comes to sunscreen:
- The sun is strongest between 10am – 4pm.
- Apply generously 15 minutes before heading outside, on all skin exposed to the sun. This includes ears, scalp, neck, and tops of feet. Use a lip balm with SPF 30.
- Use sunscreen even when it’s cloudy.
- Always check the sunscreen’s expiration date.
- Surfaces such as water, snow, and concrete can reflect rays and increase the risk of sun burn.
- Don’t merely rely on sunscreen. Use protective clothing, shade, and limit your child’s time in the direct sun.
We hope this information helps you have safe fun in the sun this summer.
If your child suffers a sunburn or may have sun poisoning, head to our clinic for compassionate pediatric care and relief.