The Do’s and Don’ts of Sunscreen:

Do Slather on Enough

According to studies, people typically use about 25 to 75 percent less sunscreen than they should. For maximum full-body protection, you need to apply 1 to 2 tablespoons of sunscreen to a child and 2 to 3 tablespoons to an adult.

Don’t Use Expired Sunscreen

Sunscreen is good for three years. Manufactures are not required to post expiration dates, as long as they can prove that it will last for at least three years. If your sunscreen doesn’t have an expiration date, be sure to write the date in permanent marker when you buy it. If you still have some left after three years, make sure you throw it away, as it won’t be effective and you risk sunburn.

Do Pay Extra Attention to These Spots

Lips, ears, feet, hands, and the back of your neck are all areas that are easy to miss. These are some of the most painful areas for sunburns, so ensure you apply sunscreen liberally.

Do Reapply Regularly

It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours to be on the safe side. If you’re swimming or doing lots of sweating, you should reapply it more often than that to ensure maximum protection. Keep in mind that reapplying sunscreen after you’ve exceeded your maximum protection time doesn’t mean that you can safely stay in the sun longer. When in doubt, be sure to cover up or get out of the sun!

Things to Consider:

We tend to get more calls this time of year for rashes after being in the sun with sunscreen.  As many products have increased their SPF, they have added more chemicals to create the higher SPF.  This has meant more rashes for children. Higher SPF is not always better, since some products get 100% protection (if you reapply) and you may only increase the chance of a rash with a higher SPF.  Pediatricians recommend SPF 30, as this is the greatest coverage level offering the best protection. There are also more options like SPF clothing. Wearing this clothing will give protection to areas that will not need to be re-coated with sunscreen.  You can use google to search for “SPF clothing for children” or “babies” to see options.

SPF clothing for a baby is ideal.  We highly recommend SPF clothing, a brim hat and avoidance during the peak high UV rays (10 A.M. to 3 P.M.)  If you must use a sunscreen, for this age, limit to the areas you cannot cover.