Putting on sunscreen is crucial on hot summer days

Putting on sunscreen is the first line of defense against skin cancer.

It’s summertime and your kids want to be outside playing, however, getting sunscreen on children can sometimes be a hassle. I’ve heard parents talk about complete and utter “melt-downs” when attempting to apply sunscreen to their kids. The problem is that some kids have had really bad experiences: lotion got in their eyes, they had an allergic reaction and broke out in a terrible rash or they just don’t like the oily feeling all over their body. Whatever the case may be, they still need to put on sunscreen before they go outside.

How to get kids to wear sunscreen:

Here are some smart tips for teaching kids that “putting on sunscreen” is what my mom called a “MUST DO”.

  • Lead by example – Put sunscreen on your own body to show them it’s also important for you. It’s the Monkey See – Monkey Do method.

  • Talk about being sun smart at home – kids will then be more receptive to the whole idea.

  • If they still protest, tell them they have a choice – they can stay inside by themselves or put on the sunscreen and go outside and join their siblings or friends. They will quickly learn who’s in charge.

Don’t wait until you get to the beach, pool or park before you put on sunscreen. Applying sunscreen before you leave the house is the best time for both you and your kids. This way sand and dirt won’t get stuck to your skin. Also sunscreens work best if applied 20 – 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.

Put Fun into “Putting on Sunscreen” for your kids.

  • Children like games and activities. Make applying sunscreen fun and kids will be more open and play along.

  • Don’t call it sunscreen or sunblock – make up a fun name for it, i.e., magic potion, Super Spray or Joo-Joo Gel. Something silly.

  • Use a favorite hand puppet made from a soft terry cloth or non absorbent material to apply the sunscreen.

  • Allow them to use a clean paint brush to spread the lotion around - make it their very own special applicator.

  • Applying sunscreen in front of the TV is a good distraction.

  • Allow your kids to put sunscreen on YOU first – they love being mommy’s or daddy’s little helper. After they are done with you, it’s their turn.

  • Perform a silly dance each time your child allows you to put sunscreen on them without incident or fuss.

Like it or not – Children need to wear sunscreen. Applying sunscreen needs to become a common practice for kids.

Start teaching your kids about sun protection and sun safety at the earliest age possible.

Putting on sunscreen is crucial, but what sunscreen is best for children? See some sunscreen reviews here:

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