Sunburns and Summer Fun

Summer is officially here and that means it’s time to ride bikes, go camping, play baseball/softball, host BBQ’s, go swimming and enjoy any other outdoor activity that you can! It’s pretty safe to say that summertime is probably the most looked-forward to season by adults and children alike. After all, school is out, the weather is warm and America’s favorite pastime is in full swing! What’s not to love?

While we should all find ways to get out and enjoy the summer weather with our family and friends, it is also important that we remember how harmful the sun can be when we aren’t prepared for it. This is especially true for those of us with children. Children are more susceptible to the heat and the harmful rays that beat down on them from the sun.

I’m sure that most of you have experienced a sunburn at some point within your life. I know that I sure have. However, I’ve got to say that the times when I did burn wasn’t until after I had reached my teenage years and wasn’t in the presence of my mother. My mom was incredibly good about making sure that my brother and I always put on sunscreen before we went outside to play or over to a friend’s for a pool party.

I have to admit that when I was a kid, I was always irritated that mom insisted on sunscreen because it took more time to do. Now, as a mom myself, I am experiencing the same attitude from my 6 year old but, just like my mother, I am determined to get the sunscreen on him! I’m sure most of you out there feel the same way I do about this topic.

While you may be putting sunscreen on your kids regularly, there are actually a few mistakes that can be made regarding it. Below are some sunscreen tips to ensure that your little ones are fully protected this summer!

  • Apply Daily – Did you know that the majority of sun exposure comes from activities such as sitting by a window, walking the dog, driving, playing catch, etc.? Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got some type of sun protection on your children daily…even on the days when they aren’t going to a pool party or won’t be outside for long periods of time. When it comes to the sun, time is time so be prepared for it!
  • Reapply – While you definitely get points for putting on sunscreen before the kids head out the door to go swimming, you don’t get an “A” for effort unless you remember to reapply the sunscreen after swimming has commenced. I know they make “water resistant” sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t come off in the water. Therefore, make sure you reapply the sunscreen after swimming. Also, reapply it if it has been on for several hours too.
  • Apply Liberally – Sunscreen can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp when applying it. If you don’t put enough on then the skin isn’t fully protected, and isn’t that why you bought the stuff in the first place? Also, when you skimp on the application, you may miss spots and that is definitely not what you want to do.
  • Cover All Areas – While applying sunscreen to the arms, shoulders, torso, cheeks, legs and feet all need to be covered in sunscreen, there are other areas that need to be remembered too during the application process. The nose, ears, around the mouth, back of the neck and the top of the head (for kids/adults with little hair) all need to be covered.

Again, summertime is such a fun time of year for everyone to enjoy, but a bad sunburn can put a damper on the activities planned. Therefore, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and correctly before you and your kiddos head outside!

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