June 15, 2019 — By Wendy Sachs


Regular use of sunscreen can reduce risk of melanoma by 40 percent in young adulthood.
It prevents short term painful burns in addition to the long term affects.
It’s the healthy thing to do.

But putting sunscreen on a kid can be the battle royale of the summer.

Ideas to ease the pain of keeping kids sun safe this summer!

  1. Teach kids to apply themselves. Of course, you don’t want to miss spots so while they are happily rubbing it on an arm, you can do their back and chest etc…
  2. With older kids, explain to them that it’s a SAFETY issue. We use helmets when we ride bikes, seat belts in the car, etc… This is just what we do.
  3. Make it a morning routine. We should be wearing sunscreen all the time when we are outdoors so adding it into the morning routine can help. We brush teeth, brush hair, apply sunscreen. Try making a list of the steps for getting ready. You can use pictures for pre readers.
  4. Use a stick for face. Don’t forget the lips, top of ears and other small spots.
  5. Offer the choice of sun protective clothing (like a good rash guard) or more sunscreen. Protective clothing is always best especially if kids don’t like lotion so this gives them the option of spending more time putting on lotion or wearing the hat and rash guard.
  6. Have a special song you sing while you put on sunscreen. Race to get it done before you sing “You Are My Sunshine” three times!
  7. Give them the choice of where to put it on- in the garage or in the mudroom. While standing on a box or sitting on the ground. Again, there is no choice of putting it on, but how you get there can be up to them.
  8. Don’t wait until you are at the pool, beach or playground. Once your kids see the water and the slide, it’s so difficult to stand still for lotion time. Put it on at home or at least right as you get out of the car.
  9. For squirming toddlers, try applying when they are buckled in their car seats.
  10. Reapply at snack time, about every two hours. While they are chomping away on that apple, you can put on more lotion and let it dry before playing in the water again.
  11. Make it a game. Draw on them dots or wavy lines, smiley faces or whatever you can think of! Try to keep your patience and fun so that you are not making it a chore and it will help kids keep their cool too!