Sunscreen: Keeping Your Child’s Skin Healthy in the Sun

Since it is almost summer, I asked Marcela De Vivo to share with my readers tips and suggestions about sunburn and sunscreen.  Marcela is a freelance health and wellness writer, as well as a mom of three.  Please, read on and learn how to protect your children and yourself from the damaging effects of the sun.

Sunscreen: Keeping Your Child’s Skin Healthy in the Sun

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If you’re a mother like me, your child’s skin health is on your radar every single day –especially if your children have fair skin. Of course, you aren’t going to deny your child’s exciting outside playtime –so how do you keep them protected from the sun’s harmful rays?


Sunburns and Skin Cancer

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Sunburns are our skin’s defenses against the sun when it has been exposed for a prolonged period of time without being covered properly. A sunburn means your skin cells are dying and the irritated skin turns red because our white blood cells flood the area to fight off the damage.

Nerve-endings then send signals to the brain which translates as pain; this is why sunburnt skin is very tender and hot. But, even after the redness and tenderness has faded, there effects of a sunburn are long-lasting.

Children exposed to only one sunburn in their early years are two times more likely to develop skin cancer when they become adults, than children who never receive a sunburn.


5 Ways to Care for a Child’s Sunburn:

  • Give them a cold bath
  • Use mild soap so as not to irritate the burn
  • Don’t scrub
  • Apply aloe vera to the skin
  • Put loose fitting clothing on your child

Educate Your Children

Teach your child how to properly put on sunscreen, especially so they will know when and how to apply when you are not around to help them out.


How to Properly Apply Sunscreen

  • Toes to nose: Start by putting sunscreen on the toes and feet and slowly work your way up the body.
  • Be generous: If you are ever going to skimp on beauty products, sunscreen is not the one to pick. A good rule of thumb is that if your child looks like a little ghost, with a sheer tint of white all over their body, then you have done a sufficient job at putting on sunscreen.

You are your child’s guide to life and if you teach them all about sunscreen and the damage the nasty sun could cause, they will live by what you have said.


Quick tip: Spray sunscreen is a super easy way to apply sunscreen to your child’s body –especially if they like to wiggle around a lot! Make sure to spray their entire body, and rub it in afterward so that the sunscreen adheres to the skin.



Set a Good Example

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Children will base most of their adult beliefs and choices on the examples they see and are taught when they are young. This is why it is important for you to follow your own advice and apply sunscreen on yourself when you are at the beach, zoo, the park or a hiking trip.

Sunscreen should be incorporated as a normal part of all your daily events. Some children’s lotion even has SPF 15 so they can apply the moisturizer before they go to school every day.

Use the tips and advice above to keep your child’s skin safe in the sun. Several different types of sunscreen exist based on allergies and amount of SPF your child may require. Do more research and decide which brand is the best fit for your little person.


Marcela De Vivo is a freelance health & wellness writer in the Los As a mom of three, she is always trying to strike a balance between letting her children get enough Vitamin D and protecting them from the sun.



All information and pictures provided by Marcela De Vivo.  Please consult your child’s pediatrician for more information or with any questions.

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