Most parents understand that using sun block is important and they try their best to avoid letting their kids get sunburned.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful they are, they are sometimes left with a sunburned child or a child with a deep, dark tan.
Avoiding common mistakes that parents make when using sun block can help you avoid painful sunburns. These mistakes include:
- Not using sun block. This is especially common early in the spring or summer, when you don't think it is sunny enough to get a burn.
Parents also sometimes forget to use sunscreen when it is late in the day, when they underestimate how long their kids will be outside, or when it is cloudy outside.
- Not using enough sun block. The average person uses less than half the recommended amount of sun block when they do apply it on their kids. So apply a thick layer to each section of your child's body, to the point that it is actually hard to work it all in.
- Missing areas of their child's body when they apply sun block. Many kids, especially younger ones, don't like to have sun block put on them. This can make applying sun block quite the battle, making it easy to miss a shoulder, thigh, or nose.
- Not reapplying sun block every few hours, especially when your kids are in the water or sweating a lot. Even sun block that is waterproof should be reapplied often.
- Waiting too long to put sun block on. Remember, to be effective, sun block should be applied about 30 minutes before your kids go outside. If you wait until your kids are already outside, they will be unprotected for about 30 minutes until the sun block is most effective, which is more than enough time to get a tan or sun burn.
- Letting their kids play outside when the sun is strongest, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- Not providing kids with shade. To avoid the sun and help keep kids from getting overheated, some shade can be helpful.
Sun Safety Basics
In addition to using a thick layer of sun block with an SPF of 15 or higher once your child is 6 months old (keeping younger kids out of the sun), you should be sure to apply it about 30 minutes before your kids will be out in the sun and reapply it every few hours or even more often if your kids are swimming.
A hat, sunglasses, and loose fitting, full length clothing can also help protect your kids from the harmful effects of the sun.