Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A few tips from the Sun Screen Queen

I am the self professed Sun Screen Queen - ask my kids and they will say I am more the Sun Screen Nazi but either way my goal over the summer is to have the least possible sun damage done to my kids skin as possible.

With the weather warming up in the Southern Hemisphere I wanted to share a few tips which I have put in to practice over the years.

Kids will wear sunscreen! As long as it has the feel good factor. Sticky, stinky, oily creams and sprays will just turn them off. Choose wisely - a sunscreen that feels good, absorbs quickly and smells decent. My six year old loves the smell of the manuka honey in the babybaby sunscreen and tells me every time I apply it " This smells good".

Let your kids have a go at applying their own sunscreen then apply to the spots they missed after wards. You need to apply 20 minutes before going out anyway so be patient and let them be responsible for their own protection. Obviously you will be the judge as to what is age appropriate, but even little ones like to rub the cream onto their arms and this can distract them while you get the rest of their body.

Don't wait until you get to the pool or beach to apply sunscreen - two reasons.
(1) No one likes sand sticking to the sunscreen and kids don't generally want to wait until their skin dries before hitting the water. (2) Most importantly sunscreen needs about 20 minutes to activate and absorb so slather up at home and let the sunscreen do its work while you are traveling.

Sunscreen needs to be reapplied so time your picnic, snack or ice cream break according to when the kids need to boost their protection (and apply before you eat so the sunscreen has time to activate).

Put a tube of sunscreen in the kids lunch boxes and explain how dangerous sun burn can be and that the most risky part of the day is when they are out for lunch. Explain that sunscreen will give them super powers to defend off sun burn.

Keep a tube of sunscreen in your hand bag so that you always have some on hand - don't keep it in the car as it gets too hot and the ingredients can separate.

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