Sun SafetyJuly 28, 2021
Sun safety can also be an opportunity for learning. See tips below for how you can discuss ways parents can protect their children from the sun and promote their child’s development:
For children 6 months – 2 years:
- While you are applying their sunscreen, label the parts of the body that you are applying sunscreen to. You can say things like, “Now, I am putting sunscreen on your arms – from your hands, to your wrists, to your elbows, to your shoulders! Now, we’re putting sunscreen on your neck.”
- In addition to labeling the parts of their body, you can also label a child’s emotions. If the child is upset, you can say things like, “I know that the sunscreen is cold, and that can be uncomfortable.” By labeling their emotions, you are helping develop their self-regulation skills.
For older children:
- You can promote their autonomy and ability to follow directions. Break putting on sunscreen into smaller steps. Try saying things like, “I wonder if you can open this bottle of sunscreen. How many squirts will it take to cover your whole arm with sunscreen? Are you starting with your arms or your nose first?” Remember, to promote autonomy, let children do for themselves what they can already do, guide and encourage them to try what they can almost do, and model for them what they cannot yet do.
Please note the recent FDA posting of certain sunscreen recalls. In general, sunscreens should be SPF 30 or above and be reapplied every two hours. See link to recent recall.