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It’s no secret our family loves living with our face in the sun. We walk to the beach every weekend, hang out along the shore digging holes, making sand volcanoes and sandcastles, running to and from the waves. And with the sun comes all the sun protection reminders for ourselves and our children, since sun exposure without protection can damage, dehydrate, and increase risk for skin cancer. With so many sunscreen and other sun protection options out there, I figured I could round up a few of the best sun safety tips my family and I live by.
BEST BABY SUN SAFETY TIPS
- SUNSCREEN AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: First on the baby sun safety tips list for a reason, sunscreen. For the longest time, I only wore sunscreen if I was at the pool, a picnic, playing outdoor sports, or lounging at the beach. Because that was the only time I had sunscreen readily available to me, in my beach tote, picnic basket, or tennis bag. I’m older and wiser now and realize that the damage from UV rays happens whenever I’m exposed to the sun. which means I need to have sunscreen available to me wherever I go. The same rule obviously applies to my kiddos, so to prevent lack of sun protection because I left my bottle of sunscreen in my other beach bag, I decided to stock up on a ton of small sunscreen sticks to store in all the places I might need it – strollers, tennis bags, baseball bags, beach and pool bags, car, our home, my everyday bag, the diaper bag. We literally have Babyganics (pocket sized!) Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick w/ SPF 50 everywhere and it’s helped us make sure we always have sunscreen for our family, even for those impulsive, unplanned beach days. And for those long days in the sun, we always pack Babyganics SPF 50 Spray Sunscreen since it’s so easy to apply for large areas more quickly than the smaller stick. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out (ideally, but I always forget and apply as soon as we get outside). If you’re going in the water, make sure your sunscreen is water resistant, and you’re applying regularly every 2 hours.
- HELPFUL HATS: Hats in the sun save our skin from excessive sun damage. The bigger, the better, in my opinion, and wide brimmed sun hats are a must for young babies under 6 months old, since they aren’t supposed to use sunscreen at that young age (birth to 6 months). We used to have a simple cotton bucket hat for Theo that we also used for Olive until it fell off her head at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and I lost it. It ended up being a blessing in disguise, because we popped into a shop at the Boardwalk and found this adorable multicolored leopard hat that sits snugly on her head with a adjustable chin strap and water resistant fabric that’s beach and pool friendly.
- RASH GUARDS CAN BE COOL TOO: I’m a sucker for adorable baby swimsutis and equally cute swimsuits for me. But when I’m out in the ocean snorkeling, boogie boarding or spending hours floating in the pool, wearing a rashguard will do a much better job at protecting us from those damaging UV rays and unwanted sunburns. Most rashguards are made with UPFs (Ultraviolet Protection Factors), which doesn’t replace the need for sunscreen, but strengthens the sun protection when combined together.
- STAY HYDRATED: a long day in the sun, or in the water depletes our body of essential salts and water. If we lose too much water, we risk dehydration, which can be dangerous for young children and older adults. Staying hydrated when out in the sun means drinking water or other replenishing drinks (coconut water or sports drinks with electrolytes) and snacking on water rich fruits like watermelon. We bring lots of water in stay cool canteens, and fresh fruits as snacks.
- STICK WITH YOUR SUNGLASSES: Sunglasses that protect against 99% of UV rays keep our eyes safe from radiation, harmful UV rays, and reduces the risk of cateracts. Even the kiddos have kid and baby shades for our sunny adventures!
Are you and your family sun worshippers like us? Have any additional baby sun safety tips to share? Tell us in the comments below!