Many of the joys of summer are all connected to sunshine — outdoor sports, picnics, long hikes, lazy beach days, and just straight being outside basking in it. But keep in mind, that lovely, glowing ball in the sky can burn if you're not careful. When staying in the shade isn't ideal, here's the best way to keep you and your whole family safe this season, from your skin to your eyes and more:
Sunscreen With A High SPF Is A Must:
You've heard it every summer, and every summer it remains true: regular sunscreen use is incredibly important. Apply generously — think a golf-ball sized gob for your whole body.
Choose a 30-50 SPF sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum.”
Lucky for parents, the FDA stepped in a few years ago to make choosing a sunscreen less confusing. They have regulated that sunscreens must protect equally against UVB and UVA rays to be labeled broad spectrum.
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Sprays offer great coverage, but watch the wind.
When applying spray sunscreen, be aware of the direction of the wind to avoid inhalation and to make sure the coverage lands ri-i-i-ight where it needs to: on your skin!
Test it first.
Children have sensitive skin, so be sure to test any new sunscreen on a small area of their skin before slathering it on at the beach. Check out the American Dermatology Association 's tips
for assistance on selecting the right sunscreen.
Keep babies under 6 months of age out the sun.
For children this young, choose UV clothing and a hat, or shade your baby with a light blanket to physically block the sun's rays. If you must use sunscreen, try a most baby-friendly brand. Our top pick is Badger Baby Suncream
, made with USDA certified organic ingredients.
Protect Your Peepers Just Like Your Skin:
Sunglasses are just as important for eye protection as sunscreen is for the skin — and while sun burn risks often receive plenty of attention, the risks of eye damage and vision problem from too much sun are often overlook.
Buy the right shades! According to the experts at Clear Eyes,
your shades should have a label indicating 99-100% UV Protection or UV 400. If there isn’t
a label like this, keep shopping. Sunglasses that are identified as “cosmetic” should definitely be avoided.
Be aware that the color of the lens has nothing to do with the level of UV protection it provides
. Dark lenses may look
safer, but may not necessarily protect your eyes. Check for the UV protective label.
Pay attention to the shape of your sunglasses, too.
Choose a pair with a shape that covers your entire eye and doesn’t allow UV light to get in through the sides.
Teach the kids that sunnies are cool!
It can be tough to keep an active kid earing sunglasses at all times, so add a lanyard that keeps 'em around your child's neck....and remind your child to always wear them when outdoors.
Dry eyes from sun, sand, or wild outdoor sports?
Stash a bottle of eye drops like Clear Eyes new Pure Relief for Dry Eyes
in your bag — it's a preservative-free lubricant that can refresh and flush out your eyes (or the kids') quickly, and keep you enjoying the weather.
Even on cloudy days, make a hat part of your outfit.
Even on overcast days, clouds don't bar UV light from reaching your eyes and skin. So consider a hat, especially one with a stylish wide brim. Hey, why not look trendy and protect your eyes and face at the same time?
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Bring Along Some Shelter:
Whether you're heading to a park, beach or campsite, plan ahead to have a place for you and your the kids to play, and even nap that's safe from the sun.
A UV protected sun tent creates a shady environment that also keeps wind and sand at bay.
We love Babymoov’s portable anti-UV pop-up tent for babies (Amazon.com
), that fits easily into the trunk of any car or in any suitcase. For toddlers and larger tots, the One Touch Play Cabana Tent (Toys"R" Us
) is a great option. Regardless of what you choose, ensure that the slides allow for proper airflow.
A broad beach umbrella that blocks UV and UB rays is another option.
Invest in a long-lasting, tried and-true option like the Frankford
— the official umbrella for the entire city of North Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach and
Chicago — that won’t snap or rust; won’t break off in the wind; and the 9-ounce marine-grade fabric, won’t fade, plus it blocks both UV and UB rays.