It’s no surprise to any Texan that healthy skin requires some protection from the summer rays, but just how can you ensure your little one gets all the protection he needs without giving up any of his outside time?

There is, of course, sunscreen, but it loses its effectiveness over time and you still need to figure out which ones are safe for your child’s skin type. Teach your child safe sun habits today to protect them throughout their lifetime. Here are a few tips:

Sunscreens

Always a good place to start, it is important to note that sunscreen is not considered safe for infants under 6 months old (Skin Cancer Foundation). Use some of the methods listed below to help keep baby safe from the sun.

Once your child has passed the six month mark, it’s safe to use broad-spectrum sunscreen. Look for something with an SPF of 15 or greater and be sure to apply 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or whenever your child has been swimming or sweating.

Clothing

It still surprises some people to learn that clothing can also be an effective sunscreen, but not all clothing protects the same. Unbleached cotton is most frequently sought after as it is protective as well as cool and comfortable, but you can also purchase clothing specifically designed to offer a specific level of protection. Look at clothing labels for the UPF number on the tag. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing with an UPF of 30 or higher.

Accessories

Your fashionista might not have any problem seeking out just the right wide-brimmed hat and matching sunglasses to coordinate with her outfit, but even your tomboy should be encouraged to don a cover that will protect the face, neck and ears while playing outside. Eyes are also susceptible to sun damage so be sure those sunglasses offer UVA and UVB blocking.

Summertime, sun, and your kids
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