Kindhood Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun

Aaaahhhh, Summer. 

We missed you, and we welcome your days of sun and fun with open arms! 

But as we all know, sunburns are decidedly NOT fun. 

At Kindhood, we have the scoop on how to protect yourself from the sun so that you remember the games and laughter . . . not the burns. 


The Basics

Lather up! 

If you are human and six months are older, sunscreen is a must-have for all skin tones.

The sun is at its most potent from 10 AM - 2 PM, so stay out of the sun during these peak hours if at all possible. But for the rest of the time, or if that's the only free time you have, then you'll want to make sure your sunscreen is effective!

Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, so that means before you get in the car on the way to the beach, at your last gas station stop before the beach, or in the pre-pool frenzy. Then re-apply every two hours, or more often if playing in the water.  

Sunscreen Cheat Sheet 

To navigate the insane amount of options you have, here is a handy, interactive checklist of the sunscreen criteria recommended by the FDA: 

30+ SPF 
 Contains approved ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium oxide
 Broad Spectrum 
 Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
Any form except powder or spray *
 Water-resistant **
❌ Does NOT contain aminobenzoic acid [PABA]
❌ Does NOT contain trolamine salicylate
As an additional layer of protection for yourself and the environment, also avoid (❌) the ingredient oxybenzone, which is known to disrupt both human and coral reef health. 


Even with the handy-dandy checklist, you're going to have A LOT of options.
If you haven't found your brand yet, we recommend starting out by buying a swath of travel sized bottles. You can see what works best for your lifestyle and your littles' skin sensitivity, and then load up your beach bag without fear! 
Once you have your favorite sunscreen, you should be buying new bottles with your regular grocery trip if you're using enough. A good rule of thumb is to use three (3) tablespoons a person per application. 

Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes! 

Lathering seems easy, but sing the children's song "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" to help yourself remember those easily forgettable spots. 
On the head, make sure you cover the ears, nose, lips, and hair part.
For shoulders, don't forget the back of the neck, lower hairline, and the top of the hands.
Knees is your friendly reminder to get all the creases, including the back of knees. 
And toes is your instruction to get the top of feet and all around the sandal straps. 
As a bonus, singing the song may help your kids see sunscreen as a fun game instead of a necessary chore. 

Can I use sunscreen on my infant? 

Usually no. 

The sensitive skin of infants is more likely to have an adverse reaction to sunscreens than that of an adult, so the FDA does not recommend using sunscreen for them. 

For infants, avoid taking them into direct sunlight, particularly during the peak sunshine hours of 10 AM - 2 PM. When you do take them outside, take the following precautions:  

 Set up near shade, or bring your own with a tent or umbrella
 Dress baby up with cute, wide-brimmed hats that cover the ears / neck 
 Cover baby's limbs in lightweight clothing, like long sleeves or hooded infant towels 


You should also provide your older kids with sun covers to wear when out of the water or when cooling down with a sweet treat.

Kindhood ponchos and infant towels are made with the UV resistant material, since bamboo cuts out 97.5% of harmful UV rays. Plus they are lightweight and breezy, keeping your little ones cool and moving, even on hot beach days.

Learn more about them in our article on Kindhood Ponchos 101


Read the labels carefully when choosing sunglasses for yourself and for your kids.

This is the one time you WANT to see "not a toy" on a gift for your kids!

Toy sunglasses often do not have UV protection for the lenses, so don't assume they do just because they are dark-tinted or look normal. Read the labels and find the sunglasses with a "UV400" or "100% UV" protection rating.  

Want more tips? Check out FDA recommendations to learn even more. 
* The FDA does not recommend powdered sunscreens at this time. Sprays should be used with caution since the wind can interfere with even application, and some pediatricians express concern about the possible inhalation of product. 
** Water-resistant does not mean waterprooof. ALL sunscreens eventually wash off in water. 


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