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To say we love going outside is a bit of an understatement. Once the warm weather hits (and, even when it’s pretty cold out), we are outside playing in our backyard, playing with our neighbor friends in our culdesac, going to the pool, the park, or the beach. We are constantly outside. But, one of the things that I have to be very careful of is my kid’s skin (and mine, too!) and making sure I’m protecting them from the harmful rays of the sun. We all have very fair skin, especially Amos with his fair skin and red hair, and so I’m super diligent about sun protection! I thought it might be helpful to share with you guys five sun protection tips for being safe this summer!
1. Make sure you’re well covered!
If you’re heading to the pool or the beach, make sure your kids are wearing swim suits that have good UV ray protection. I love swim shirts that are breathable so they can keep cool, while also being protected from the sun. I also make sure to try and wear a big hat, sunglasses, and a coverup if I’m not in the water. Sunglasses and hats aren’t just cute, they really can make a huge difference in protecting your eyes, ears, and neck from that UV radiation.
2. Wear sunscreen and choose your sunscreen wisely. And especially look for sunscreens with SAFE ingredients.
I am extremely picky about the kind of sunscreen I use on myself and my kids. SO MANY sunscreens on the market are loaded with harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals. You want a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF, while 30 SPF is your best bet. The higher the SPF doesn’t actually make that much of a difference. 30 SPF is a good level for just about everyone. You want to look for mineral sunscreens that contains a main ingredient of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. You want to make sure to avoid sunscreens that contain ingredients like methylisothiazolinone and oxybenzone (source).
The topic of sunscreen safety is a large one and very complex. But the fact of the matter is, skin cancer is on the rise and yet, statistically, humans are spending more time indoors and wearing sunscreen more often. So being aware of what kind of sunscreen you are using is SO SO SO important for sun protection.
One of my FAVORITE, safe, mineral sunscreens is Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen. I have used Blue Lizard® sunscreen for years and I love that it’s effective, dermatologist and pediatrician recommended, and it’s safe and not loaded with harmful chemicals (it’s listed as a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep site). I also love that you can easily find it at stores like Walmart. Bonus, join Ibotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Baby, 5 oz. bottle only.
Another one of the really awesome features is that the bottle changes COLOR when it’s exposed to UV sunlight. Lilly gets so excited to go outside and see the bottle change color. That way she knows she needs to put sunscreen on!
Blue Lizard® was actually originally created in Australia (where standards in sun protection products are SUPER strict), but it’s now made right here in the USA (which you know I love). The Blue Lizard® baby* formula is actually my favorite because it is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and chemical-free. It’s safe to use on everyone in the family. I even use it on myself!
3. “Park” yourself in a shady area.
When you’re setting up your camp for the day at the park, pool, or beach, be sure to put your stuff in a shady area so you can take breaks from the harsh sun. If you’re at the beach, get a big beach umbrella and set that up! If you have little, little ones, make sure to keep them in the shade as much as possible. I got a baby beach tent for my kids for when they were really little and that thing was a life saver!
4. Drink lots of water and take lots of breaks
Try not to stay in the harsh sun too long. Limit your full-on exposure to the sun for about 20 minutes at a time and then take breaks in the shade. Stay hydrated as the sun can really dehydrate you and make you feel tired.
5. Check the UV index for the day and plan your activities around the sun
You can check weather apps or even some local news stations will report the UV index for the day. They will also often share what time of day is best for going out and enjoying the pool or beach. Sometimes going in the earlier morning or later afternoon can make a big difference in avoiding the worst part of the day when the sun is highest in the sky and more harsh.