What’s the Best Sunscreen for Kids?
Summer is here and with it comes lots of outside play! From playing at the pool and lake to visiting the beach and camping in the mountains, that extra time outdoors means greater sunburn opportunities. There are many options for sunscreens, but how do you know which are the safest and most effective for your kids? Choosing the right sunscreen for kids can protect them from skin cancer and early skin aging (aka wrinkles, something they will thank you for when they get older). We’ve compiled a list of what to look for when sunscreen shopping.
Broad Spectrum: Always choose sunscreens that list “broad spectrum” on the label. This means that the sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer, whereas UVA rays cause skin damage, age-related skin aging, and wrinkles.
SPF of 30 or Higher – This sunscreen recommendation isn’t only for our fair-skinned readers. Everyone should use sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 30. SPF stands for sun protection factor, and its number is how long it would take for skin to burn (assuming you’ve applied it according to the label). For example, an SPF of 30 would take 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. An SPF of 50 would take 50 times longer.
Water Resistant – Let’s face it, North Carolina summers are hot and humid, which makes pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean a necessity for cooling off. But even if your kids aren’t playing in the water, they’re sweating. Water resistance on the label means that the sunscreen will remain effective on sweaty or wet skin. Not all sunscreens offer water resistance, so choose wisely. Water-resistant sunscreens come in either 40 or 80 minutes of water resistance before they need to be reapplied.
Active Ingredients: Oh, active ingredients are a very popular topic of discussion. According to BreastCancer.org, sunscreen that contains certain ingredients may cause cancer in some people. The best sunscreens have active ingredients that contain zinc and/or titanium dioxide. These naturally occurring minerals stay on top of the skin to create a barrier, unlike chemicals, which are absorbed into the bloodstream.
The sun is a wonderful thing. It keeps us warm and fills our bodies with much-needed vitamin D. But the sun can also cause significant damage, even death, without proper precaution. Take the time to choose sunscreen for kids from sunburn, sun damage, wrinkles, and cancer. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.