Sun protection may be the last thing on your mind right now, but winter break will be here soon and many fortunate families will be heading to sunnier climates. If you will be playing outdoors during the school vacation week, don’t forget to pack all the necessary sun essentials. Nothing will ruin a family vacation quicker than a sunburn!
Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection. According to SkinCancer.org, broad-spectrum sunscreens have at least three active ingredients: “These [active ingredients] generally include PABA derivatives, salicylates, and/or cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate and cinoxate) for UVB absorption; benzophenones (such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone) for shorter-wavelength UVA protection; and avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule (MexorylTM), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide for the remaining UVA spectrum.”
Manufacturers make it easy to spot full-spectrum sunscreens by stating it right on the front of the bottle. Make sure you follow the manufacturers directions regarding application.
2. UVA/UVB Sunglasses
You wouldn’t think about heading off for a beach vacation without your sunglasses, so be sure to pack them for your children as well. Look for sunglasses that provide 100% UVA and UVB sun protection. It is important to purchase quality sunglasses so your child’s are well protected. Protecting sensitive eyes will prevent photokeratitis, a sunburn of the eyes. In addition, extended childhood sun exposure can also lead to adult eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Sun Hats
The third sun-protection essential is a good sun hat. Look for a hat with a sturdy, wide brim and fabric with an SPF factor of at least 35+.
Sunscreen, sunglasses and a good hat form a sun-protection trifecta. This combination is sure to keep your child happily enjoying the fun in the sun instead of stuck in a hotel room with a bottle of aloe vera!