Tips for Applying Sunscreen to Children
Sunscreen for Kids
Reader Question: I've heard that sunscreen with too high an SPF is bad for kids. Is that true?
Not to my knowledge, but I do recommend using sunscreen that's specifically designed for children. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and remember to reapply at least every two hours and after swimming, even if the bottle says it's water-resistant. You should also make sure that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays (it should say so on the bottle, or say "broad spectrum"), and apply it liberally. When my kids were little, I used sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and applied it with a makeup sponge to make sure I had their faces covered. It's a little gentler than using your finger and the novelty of the sponge also helped them stay still during the application.
Remember that sunscreens are for topical use and shouldn't be ingested, so remind your kids to wash their hands before eating. Babies often put their hands (and any other body parts they can reach) in their mouths, so your best bet is probably to keep them out of the sun entirely. If your little one is younger than 6 months, ask your pediatrician if any sunscreen is safe to use.
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Disclaimer: Your seeking information on health related topics and/or Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD's providing such information herein constitutes neither the solicitation of nor the provision of medical advice, services, care or treatment. Communication with Dr. Fryhofer on this website does not create a doctor/patient relationship. For concerns about your own particular medical condition, you should consult your own medical professional, who can examine and evaluate you. Communication on a website is not a substitute for taking an active role in your own medical care and treatment and being personally seen by a physician of choice in your area.
Video: Why Should You Wear Sunscreen? | Body Science for Kids
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