A word from our Doctors,
Spring Temperatures have arrived, and hopefully you have been outside enjoying this beautiful weather. Some of you probably spent a good bit of your spring break by the pool or at the beach and have started thinking about sunscreen. There are many options out there and a few important things to keep in mind when selecting a good sunscreen for your family.
Always look for an SPF of at least 15 or 30. Although we tend to think the higher the better, beyond 30 doesn’t make a significant difference in sun protection. It is important to have a product that has broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. If your child has sensitive skin, you may want to try to avoid specific ingredients, such as looking for a PABA-free product. You could do a test patch by applying sunscreen to a small area on your child’s arm to see if they have a reaction. An actual sun blocker such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can be beneficial, as some people may be sensitive to avobenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient.
An even more important point than which sunscreen product you select is that we often don’t use enough sunscreen, and we don’t reapply early and often enough. Every 2 hours is a good rule, particularly during peak sun hours between 10am and 4pm. Apply sunscreen while you’re at home, about 15 minutes before going outside. We all know that when kids catch sight of a swimming pool, they want to jump right in. Better to let the sunscreen dry and get absorbed before they take the plunge.
A few more tips to keep in mind:
-consider sticks or wipes if you have a hard time applying to small areas such as the face
-remember a hat and eye protection
-don’t forget lip balm with SPF
-water-resistant products are a good idea, as you’re usually sweating, even if you’re not in the water
-clothing with SPF protection is available
-a more expensive product doesn’t mean it’s better!
-young children don’t necessarily need a product specific for babies as they aren’t significantly different
-sunscreens have an expiration date
-apply more sunscreen than you think you need to!