The summer may be winding down and school may be back in session (or almost back in!), but don’t forget that protecting yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays should be a focus year-round, not just in the summer months. We recently got some fab skin-safety tips from Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Patrick Bitter, Jr., who is also a spokesperson for Clearly Beautiful. Read on to help keep your kiddo’s skin protected!
Summer Skin Care 101
1. Know your sunscreens. Every parent knows that the best way to protect your child from sun exposure is to lather on the sunscreen. With hundreds of brands out there (all advertising that they are the best, of course), how can you be sure the lotion you are applying is really protecting against harmful UVA rays and is also a safe sunscreen?
According to experts, the best sunscreens should always contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These two chemicals don’t irritate or get absorbed into children’s sensitive skin but still act as a powerful shield. Sunscreens should also always be broad spectrum, which means that they block both UVA and UVB rays protecting not only against sunburn, but also against wrinkles and aging.
2. BEENS. When it comes to favorite foods, parents know that beans are not on the tops of many kids’ lists. However, in the case of sun protection, “BEENS” is the best way to keep your child safe. An acronym for the most sensitive parts of the body, BEENS stands for back of the knees, ears, eye area, neck and scalp. If these body parts are properly covered, sunburn is 50 percent less likely to happen!
3. Cover up. Even with sunscreen, the best option to fully protect against damaging skin is to wear dark, tightly woven clothes. Forget throwing on a white t-shirt. The light color absorbs more of the rays than it reflects. Instead, purchase sun-protective clothing, such as a kid’s full swimsuit or rash guard shirt that offers an ultra-violet protection factor.
Don’t want to buy new clothes? The Skin Cancer Foundation recently did a study which found that simply using Tinosorb FD in your next load of laundry will instantly leave your clothes with 30 UPF. A laundry addictive that contains sunscreen, Tinosorb FD creates protection that lasts for as long as 20 washings.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The National Safe Kids Campaign estimates that every year, one in four kids under the age of 14 will suffer from dehydration and heat stroke. The best way to keep your child completely hydrated during the summer months is to have him or her drink at least four glasses of water each hour. Liquids with electrolytes, such as Gatorade, are also very beneficial in balancing the still developing nervous system in children. Early symptoms of heat stroke include dry mouth, fatigue and irritability. These signs should be immediately addressed by the parent.
5. Don’t forget yourself! It can become easy to forget about your own health needs after fretting all day over your child’s well-being. In addition to following these tips, parents must also remember to protect their own skin.
How do you keep your kids—and yourself—safe from the hot, hot sun? —Jenn