I like to get a little sun, but when it comes to my kids it’s safety first. These tips and tricks have saved us on multiple occasions. Including week long Florida trips in summer heat. They worked so well the one year our kids didn’t get ANY sunburn the whole trip!
1. Bucket/Floppy Hat: If you don’t have one of these for your little one yet. I highly recommend getting one or two. For really little ones 2 years and under I suggest one with a Velcro strap to help them from pulling it off. These hats are great and not only help protect the top of your little ones head (avoiding trying to get sunscreen in their hair), they also shade their eyes, and block hard to get areas like your child’s ears. We still put sunscreen on their cheeks, back of the neck, and nose just in case.
2. Sunscreen: You would think this one would be a no brainer, but you never know. We struggled finding a sunscreen that our oldest wasn’t allergic to. For the new parents out there who were like me I didn’t even know there was such a thing. There are some sunscreens that are super dangerous for kids/babies. The worst are those in aerosol cans. We had one labeled baby in aerosol that we put on our son and it burned him. Then we found Aveeno Baby 50 SPF (the purple lidded one) that’s a little more expensive, but worth every penny. If you keep an eye out there are $2 off coupons for Kroger and Target all the time. It’s the most sensitive of all the brands we have tried on our kids and works really great too. Our son has very sensitive skin and bad eczema since we’ve switched to Aveeno Baby he has had NO issues. Of course make sure to read the labels and apply as needed.
3. Long Sleeve Swimsuit Tops: These are a must for our son (4). He is very pale and sensitive to sunlight. This also cuts back on how much sunscreen you have to put on your child(ren). We usually pick these up to match whatever bottoms they have. If a new one is too expensive try a secondhand store such as Kid to Kid or a Once Upon a Child (In early spring). We never have trouble finding secondhand tops with little to no wear. Walmart usually has a plain white or black one as well for just $9. Our daughter (2) is not as sensitive to sun, but we get a few for her too, especially with how little coverage most little girl swimsuits offer. Usually these run small especially when you’re trying to put them on wet, so we always buy a size up. Our son we get a 5T (usually 4T clothing) and our daughter a 3T (currently in a size 2T).
4. Umbrellas I see a lot of people lugging umbrellas around and we’ve never had the hands or patients for them. Usually if we are out for a long period of time, we may have a chair to place a towel over and the little ones can nap underneath. One year we brought a small blow up castle down to the beach and our then (6 month old) could splash around in a little water brought up or take a nap comfortably in the shade. Every once in a while we will cave and get a rental and umbrella if it’s too hot or we’ve been out multiple days in a row. If we need a break from the sun we find a spot with shade and take a lunch break.
5. Stroller After we had two kids taking a stroller down to the beach wasn’t so bad. We load it up with all the swim stuff and cooler. We could have most of the things off the stroller while out in the sun and then when the kids needed a break from the sun we used the stroller with cover as a high chair or napping area. The stroller can also provide a decent shadow on the sand for shade depending on the time of day.
6. Sunglasses If your little one will keep sunglasses on, good for you! We have so many cute sunglasses for our kids that they only keep on long enough for a picture. Just stick with the hat and save your money.
7.Hydrate This doesn’t seem like it’d be a sun safety tip, but it is. Don’t forget to keep your kids hydrated by having something cool available to them. When it’s really hot you can freeze snacks like Gogurts and put them in the cooler. If they aren’t still frozen for them they’ll at least be cool when they do eat them. It’s also a good idea to freeze small water bottles. You can use these as the icepacks as well so there’s less to carry back.
8. Safety Gear It seems sun and water go hand in hand in the summer. Always make sure to have an extra close watch on little ones around water even if they have flotation devices. We like to use the vest-style swim gear with our water babies. Our oldest (4) can use the vest unassisted. (He always likes to wear arm floaties when he gets tired). While our youngest (2) is held or assisted. In years past we have also used a baby floatation ring. (one had a blow up cover to help shade.)