I want to share 7 easy tips to protect your child’s skin
Once upon a time I was a teenager (many years ago) and sunscreen wasn’t around. Baby oil mixed with iodine, aluminum sun reflectors and lemon juice gave us a beautiful tan and shining blonde hair…so we thought. Who knew all that warm, wonderful sun was damaging our skin. It felt good, looked good and lots of fun to spend days lolling in the sand with my friends! Even though 6 hours later, I can remember lying in the bathtub filled with cool water and my body covered with tea bags to soothe my red, blistering sunburned skin. The tannic acid in the tea bags was supposed to take away the burn and heal the skin.
Fast-forward, about 30 years later…you might have guessed. Words like basal cell, melanoma, biopsy and lots of prayers arrived in my vocabulary. I won’t keep you in suspense; I’m fine after a few “cutting” procedures and lots of thankfulness. And as an adult, I diligently applied sunscreen every morning once I hit my 30’s. But guess what, even though I couldn’t see it, the damage was already done.
But enough about me… Since I’m a baby and toddler expert, I want to share 7 easy tips to protect your child’s skin so your vocabulary can be filled with fun words, like summer, ocean, playgrounds!
- If you have an infant or toddler 6 months or older, apply a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to exposed skin that is not covered with clothing. And keep it in a place that easy to reach each morning. Just like brushing your teeth, applying sunscreen each day is a must!
- Before you dress your child, apply sunscreen. Sun damage is preventable.
- If your toddler won’t hold still, sing the “ABC’s”. When you get to “Z”, the job will be done and what fun.
- If your child is in preschool, ask the teacher if there is a sunscreen form to sign giving her permission to apply it before outside time. And don’t be afraid to remind her at drop off if you haven’t already applied it.
- If you’re going to be at the beach or pool, check the label for to see how often you need to re-apply. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen all year.
- If your baby is under 6 months, the best protection is keeping them out of the sun, in the shade with a hat and long sleeves. However, make sure they don’t get overheated. Fussiness might be your first clue that your baby is too hot.
- Moms and Dads…keep your sunscreen next to your toothbrush and make it a daily ritual to apply each morning.
Blythe Lipman, President and Founder of Baby Instructions based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a nationally recognized baby and toddler expert, a parenting consultant, an author of three award-winning books, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions, More…Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions, and Help! My Toddler Came Without Instructions, a teacher, a caregiver, a keynote speaker, a blogger and host of Baby and Toddler Instructions, a weekly Parenting Internet talk radio show which airs live every Wednesday at 11:00 am EST on itunes and toginet. She is owner of the online parenting magazine My Best Parenting Advice.