Rising temperatures and longer daylight hours often mean one thing: more fun in the sun! However, as wonderful as sunny skies and Mother Nature are, it’s essential for all members of the family to stay protected from the sun’s harmful rays (and thus reduce the chances of sunburn, skin damage, and greater health risks later in life).
Keep reading to discover our top sun safety tips for your little ones.
Leading health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) share that UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Since UV rays can damage skin cells and are the leading cause of sun-related health issues, it’s important to minimize your exposure to them when they’re at their peak.
Whenever possible, aim to spend time outdoors before or after this time frame when UV rays aren’t as strong and harmful. (Note: You can also check the UV index when you plan to be outdoors through a simple Google search or on your smartphone’s weather app.) We understand that this is a hefty chunk of the daytime to stay indoors, so if you’ll be outside during peak hours, simply be sure to follow the rest of the sun safety tips on this list!
Whenever you spend time in the great outdoors, try your best to stay covered from direct exposure to sunlight. Look out for physical barriers for shade, such as:
- under trees at a park
- umbrellas at the beach
- awnings while shopping or strolling outdoors (Speaking of strolling, be sure to use a stroller that offers full coverage from direct sunlight!)
However, be mindful that UV rays can still penetrate most physical barriers, so you’ll want to keep your little ones protected from multiple angles.
Direct sun-to-skin exposure can speed up the chances of burning and irritation, so you’ll want to cover your baby in protective clothing: think long and lightweight tops and bottoms that are still breathable enough to permit airflow so they don't overheat. Some brands even sell clothing made with UV-protective technology with sun safety in mind. You’ll also want to invest in a hat with a wide brim (to cover the face, ears, and neck) as well as UV-protective sunglasses for your bundle of joy.
Bonus: These items won’t only help to protect their body, faces, and eyes, but can also serve as a great way to make fun fashion statements!
Last but not least, when it comes to sun safety tips for babies, tots, and children, we can’t forget sunscreen!
Sunscreen is non-negotiable for the whole family when it comes to protecting yourself from the UV rays.* However, as important as this form of sun protection is, it’s worth noting that not all sunscreens are equally good for you, and it’s also not enough to apply it once and expect full protection from burns and sun damage.
For quick reference, here are a few need-to-know facts and tips about sunscreen:
- For maximum protection from photoaging and damage, you’ll need to choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage, meaning it offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Sunscreens have varying levels of sun protection factor (SPF). Most experts recommend using a sunscreen that offers a minimum of SPF 30 to protect skin against burns and other damage.
- Sunscreen wears off — especially when you’re outdoors, very active, sweating, or in water — so it’s essential to reapply a full, thick layer about every 80 minutes to two hours.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to parts of the body that are often neglected, such as ears, neck, front and back of knees, finger, toes, etc.
- Mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) act as physical barriers against UV rays and are often better suited for sensitive skin. On the flip side, chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin in order to work — yet certain types of chemical sunscreens (including oxybenzone and octinoxate) have been linked to hormone disruption, toxicity in the body, and damage to coral reefs.
On this last point, Mini Bloom wanted to create a sunscreen that was 100% safe for both the skin of your little one as well as for the planet. We also wanted to make sure this non-toxic sunscreen for babies and children was convenient enough to apply throughout the day, without gooey messes or opaque white casts.
And thus Sunny Stick was born! Made in an easy-glide, mineral formula with zinc oxide and SPF 30, Sunny Stick is your best bet to keep your family safe and protected while still enjoying the great outdoors. We also made sure to include other natural, skin-friendly botanical ingredients like sunflower seed oil and aloe leaf juice — and avoid added fragrances and other chemicals and common irritants so it’s safe to use on even the most sensitive and delicate skin.
Be sure to check out Sunny Stick and add it to your diaper/beach bag today!
*Note: As important as sunscreen is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both share that sunscreen shouldn’t be applied on babies under the age of six months, mainly due to an increased risk of forming a rash on their delicate skin. In this case, be sure to stick to the sun safety tips shared above and consult your pediatrician before adding a sunscreen to your baby’s routine.