Soaking up sunshine alongside your loved ones is magical. Between the games, laughter, and relaxation, some might claim it’s the closest thing us earthlings have to a heaven. That is, of course, until the sun’s hangover kicks in, manifesting in an angry red sunburn. If it’s bad enough, the dehydration and sunstroke might have a few things to say too.
Suddenly your angelic and well-mannered children aren’t so happy anymore. It’s likely we’ve all experienced this. Perhaps we’ve even had the perfect vacation ruined because of it. To mitigate the chances of your family suffering from a harsh sunburn, you need to follow some sun safety tips.
Although trying to round up your children can be like herding cats, doing so will earn you a gold medal in parenting. Teach your kids that sunscreen is an integral part of their everyday life. They need water, right? Well in the summer they also need sunscreen.
Your children haven’t spent as many days beneath the sun as you. As a result, their skin is far more sensitive and susceptible to sunburn. Finding a child-friendly sunscreen with a high SPF is paramount. Even if the day is overcast, clouds don’t inhibit UV rays, which means you can still fall victim to a serious sunburn. Consider the following specifics when searching for the right sunscreen:
- Non-spay – Spray on sunscreen can be toxic for children, especially because they’re prone to inhaling the fumes. Go with the traditional lotion form instead.
- Broad spectrum – Find a product that offers protection from both UV A and UV B rays. The products that classify themselves as ‘broad spectrum’ or are high in zinc oxide are what you should be looking for.
- Non-toxic – Many sunscreen brands use toxic chemicals. These can be especially harmful if you’re expecting a baby. Be sure to avoid lotions that include Homosalate and Oxybenzone. Look for a pregnancy safe sunscreen which doesn’t include either compound.
- Water resistant 40+ – If your children spend their summers transforming into dolphins and mermaids, then find a water-resistant sunscreen to maximize their time in the pool or ocean.
Create Your own Shade
Beach days are as fun as they are exhausting. For an active family, they’re no easy feat. But what makes them easier is a home base. This basecamp should provide two essential resources: shade and water. Throw some easy-ups beside each other and bring of ton of chairs.
A basecamp is a game changer. It ensures that the beach day lasts longer, giving you more quality time with your kids. But most importantly, it means that your entire family isn’t basking beneath the sun for hours on end. Any experienced beach day enthusiast will stress the importance of having shade. No one is impervious to the power of the sun.
Bring the Right Clothing
Spoiling yourself with new clothes for the summer season is a tremendous joy. There’s a distinct freedom in boxing up your jacket and coats and stepping out into shorts, tennis whites, and flip-flops that signifies the beginning of a magical era. For your kids, they’ll be excited to rock big prints, bright colors, and board shorts.
Take the opportunity to find them some specific pieces that protect them from the sun. A floppy hat or baseball cap can provide shade to avoid sunburn. A fitted, waterproof rash guard provides protection from UV rays while they’re out in the water. UV protective sunglasses are essential too, even for your youngest child. Find loosely fitting and comfortable long sleeve garb in case the sun becomes too much. With the right summer wardrobe, you can ensure no one in your family falls victim to sunburn, dehydration, or heatstroke.
Education is the Key
When it comes to sun safety, education is important. Ask your family questions regarding what they know about sunburns, UV A and UV B rays, and then implore them to do a bit of research before stampeding out onto the beach. Create a standard of sun care that becomes law and stress the importance of using sunscreen. You may come across as a nag, but your whole family will appreciate your tenacity when their skin ages well and no long-term health issues arise.