How to Protect Your Kids from the Sun This Summer

School is over, the sun is out, and temperatures begin to rise. Before your kids race out the door, it’s important to do what you can to protect them from the rays and heat. Here are some of the ins and outs of helping kids keep safe from the sun this summer.

Sunblock vs. sunscreen

These two are used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same. Sunblock contains ingredients like titanium and zinc oxide that sit on your skin to block UV rays and protect it. On the other hand, sunscreen is made up of ingredients that get absorbed into the skin. The latter often boasts protection for up to 6 hours, because it contains more chemicals. Although both are generally regarded as safe, when it comes to choosing protection for your kids, it’s always better to go for sunblock.  

Sun protection. Year-old girl in a paddling pool, face covered in sunscreen and wearing a hat and anti-sunburn suit.

Apply early and repeat

Using sunblock instead of sunscreen means you should apply it more often. Whether you’re going to the beach, the park or simply out for a stroll, you can get the kids “sun-ready” before leaving the house. Applying it early will save you time and the hassle of getting the kids’ attention to do so. Then, just re-apply every 2 to 3 hours when they’re taking a break from the fun!

Mother applying sun protection to her 6 years daughter in the beach.

Clothing and Hats

Although sunblock is a great way to protect their skin, it’s important to use other tools to shield them from the rays and heat. It’s always better to dress them in light colors and fabrics during the summer. Sun hats are the best way to shield their little faces and shoulders from the sun rays – just make sure that the hat has a wide brim that provides adequate coverage. We know it can sometimes be difficult to have them keep these on, so get them a personalized hat that is so special they’ll never want to take off!

The tongue of a young boy with curly hair is touching an orange frozen treat. He is wearing a gray t-shirt, a straw hat and blue rimmed glasses. The background is blurry and consists of an open field of green grass with trees and bushes in the distance.

Hydration

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the day. Kids should drink 12 ounces of fluid 30 minutes before doing any activity, to prevent dehydration. Try to incorporate fluid breaks into the day and keep track of how much water they’re drinking. Watch for warning signs of dehydration such as thirst, dry or sticky mouth, headaches and dizziness. Whether they’re spending the day with you or going away to camp, make sure they take their personalized drink bottle with them to fill up with water and drink on the go!

Closeup portrait of a little boy holding a glass of water. The boy is wearning blue blouse and smiling to the camera. The boy is aged 5 and is backlit by the morning sun from the window behind him.

Avoid peak temperatures

Plan outdoor activities to avoid peak-sun hours. Going out before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. is the best choice. Of course, you can’t keep the kids indoors all day, so if the sun is high in the sky, make sure to go somewhere where you can all take a break from its rays once in a while.

Happy little boy relaxing with his mother in a shade on the beach while touching her nose.