Important Sunscreen Tips

As the summer months approach and the weather gets warmer, it’s time to carefully consider your summer preparedness.  While we all want to have fun outdoors during the warmer months, we also need to take safety precautions to take care of our health and our skin.

Many programs, such as Teen Screen, the Skin Cancer Foundation, and others work tirelessly to promote the safe use of sunscreen.  There are specific steps that parents should take to keep a child’s skin protected – and tips that older children should use for themselves.

From the age of six months, children should have sunscreen put on them before they go outside.  One great trick to help kids to remember to use sunscreen, and how to do so, is to spell BEENS.  Sunscreen should be on the back of knees, ears, eye area, neck and scalp. As Teen Screen explains, apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it every two hours. Waterproof sunscreen only lasts for 80 minutes after being wet.

In terms of which sun screen to select, here are some tips that Teen Screen, WebMD and other sources offer.  Purchase sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; look for sunscreens that are labeled “broad spectrum” because they block both UVA and UVB sunlight; spray-on sunscreens are the easiest to apply and stick sunscreens are the best for the face since they are sweat proof.