Sunblocks Are Better For Children
As another cold, boring winter wanes, and with summer just around the corner, now is a good time to find the best sunscreen for children. Since your kids will likely be spending a lot of time outside they need the protection but they also need something that will stay on for a long time (even when they get wet) as well as be gentle for their skin.
Many people don’t stop to think about the difference between sunscreen and sunblock. Sunscreens have chemicals that actually absorb the UV rays but sunblocks actually use ingredients that deflect the UV rays away from you so they never come into contact with your skin.
Since sunblock doesn’t have the irritating chemicals it is usually the preferred option for children (or anyone who has sensitive skin). So, when you are looking for the best sunscreen for children just remember, it may be sunblock that you want and not sunscreen.
Another important thing to take into consideration is the sun protection factor, or SPF. The SPF is an indicator of the total length of time that the sunblock will keep the skin from burning compared to how long it will take you to burn if you have nothing on.
So, for example, if you use an SPF of 30 that means that you can stay out in the sun for up to 30 times longer without burning than you could if you had no sun screen on at all.
For kids, usually higher SPF is better whenever your kids spend a lot of time out in the sun, whether or not they are in or around water. Just remember that even with sunblock it is still possible to burn so don’t think that just because you’ve got a high SPF on your kids that they can stay out all day.
You also need to remember that even water proof sunblock will wipe off even if your kid doesn’t get wet. Make sure you reapply the sunblock frequently especially if your kids are in water or just getting really sweaty outside during the day while they are playing.
The only sunblock ingredients that are allowed in products sold in the U.S. are titanium and zinc oxide. These two compounds are natural sun blocks and they just sit on top of the skin. Try to find a sunblock that will block the full spectrum of UV rays, both UVA and UVB. To really get the protection you want for your kids, look for a minimum of 5% of titanium oxide and zinc oxide, less than that and you won’t get the protection you want.
One last thing to remember, you shouldn’t use sunblock on very young children, under 6 months without talking to your doctor first. Many of the ingredients of sunblocks are just too hard on the sensitive skin of very young children. It’s better to just keep the kids out of the sun. Keep them under an umbrella and cover their head with a hat.
I hope these tips on finding the best sunscreen for children have helped. Remember though that the best may not be a sunscreen at all but rather a sunblock.