Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Suncreen Tips

Sammy is clearly very fair. He not only has red hair but also freckles and very light skin. He burns easily and becomes red very quickly. We have never seen a severe burn on his skin. Just 1-2 bad burns before the age of twelve can increase risk of skin cancer by 50%. Those are some serious numbers. We take sun protection seriously.

First apply before you get outside in the sun. For us this means before we head to the pool, I cover anything that will see sunlight. His trunks also ride up a bit so I make sure to get that skin as well. Ears are easily forgotten and the back of the neck so try to make a mental reminder to get everything. I prefer a mineral sunblock like California Baby or Honest Company. I have had excellent results with both. This year we're using Honest Company because it was on sale and I had a coupon.

The FDA regulates sunblock. They will all prevent sunburn when used properly. Any sunblock that is applied correctly is better than the most expensive sunblock applied incorrectly or infrequently. Environmental Working Group also has a great reference for added materials inside of popular sunblock brands. The Babyganics brand was very highly rated last year and we keep that at Sammy's school for recess.

The roll up sticks are great for little spaces like noses and ears. I love that they are extremely portable and nice if you are say going on a hike and need to bring just a little of something with you. 

Make use of hats, rash guards, and longer swimming attire when possible. Sunblock is great but if you can have a swimsuit that has added UPF there is overall less risk of exposure.

Have a plan to reapply. Read the directions and make sure you are applying before it say you need to. We generally reapply every swim break at the pool or every hour when hiking. If I need to set a timer I do, just so that I can remember that Sammy needs more sunblock.

Stash a tube in your purse just in case. Don't be caught outside without it. I have a little adventure pack in my car for emergencies and I find that having a tube in the car and one in my purse means that I am generally covered for anything. Getting one tube is more economical but if you are like me and need duplicates of things just plan ahead and grab a backup.

Hope these tips  help keep you and your family sunburn free this summer. The sun feels wonderful but with skin cancer on the rise slather up and protect yourself!

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