Enjoy the sun while staying safe!
The higher the SPF, the better.
You’ve likely heard the rumor that an SPF higher than 50 does not make a difference. While the increase in protection is quite small once you go above 50, it does make a difference. “When [a brand tests] a sunscreen, they put them on way thicker than you would wear it,” Dr. Kircher says. So, with SPF 50, you may actually only be getting an SPF of 30-35, he explains.
Limit sun exposure.
When avoiding the sun is unavoidable, wearing a rash guard in the water, a hat, SPF-protected clothing, or even a regular cotton T-shirt can protect your skin. After all, “have you ever gotten a sunburn through a shirt that wasn’t wet?” Dr. Kircher asks. Be cognizant of the amount of time your child is in the sun. A sunburn is an inflammatory process that will take hours to manifest, according to Dr. Kircher, so you may not see the effects of excessive sun exposure until later. Dr. Kircher recommends covering up infants younger than 6 months as much as possible using clothing. This includes sunglasses which should have a UVA/UVB blocking label. Luckily, almost all sunglasses (even cheap ones) have this protection.
Reapplication time depends on your activity.
Sunscreens now provide a water-resistance time factor on the label. If you’re wearing an 80-minute sunscreen, you should reapply every 2 hours or so. However, this is all relative to your activity. “If your child is in the waves, you will have to reapply more frequently than if they’re just walking around on a cool day,” Dr. Kircher says.