If your kids are anything like ours (or most kids on the planet), applying sunscreen is not a huge priority for them. In fact, even though we put sunscreen on the kids every day and they could probably go through the motions in their sleep, it’s impossible to get them to stay still and not run off as we’re going through the process.
We were inspired by this NY Times photo gallery of kids looking annoyed while applying sunscreen, and we wanted to share it with you. Plus, it got us thinking of all the things our kids might say about sunscreen in a perfect world.
I’m going outside. Can you put on my sunscreen now?
This is what we should all be thinking before our kids go out to play. Even if it’s cloudy, the UV index can be higher than you think. That means that UV radiation can still harm your child’s delicate skin. Making it a rule to apply sunscreen before your child goes outside will help instill a routine that can last a lifetime. If you do this every day, you might actually hear your child say these words eventually.
Please, can you rub some more of that stuff all over my cheeks? I like how it mixes with the yogurt that’s all over my face.
Let’s face it—kids can get messy while they’re snacking. If you’ve just spent time wiping crumbs off of your child’s face while he or she is sitting in the stroller, you probably need to reapply the sunscreen.
I’ve been swimming for a while. Can you please put some more sunscreen on me?
This should be an essential rule every time you go to the beach or pool. Kids also tend to wipe their eyes a lot while they’re in the water, so it’s important to reapply sunscreen to their faces every time they get out of the pool. If they’ve been in the water for a while, it’s a good idea to reapply sunscreen after you towel them off.
Sure, I’m happy to stay completely still while you're applying sunscreen.
Simplify your sunscreen routine. If you have a squirmy kid, try swapping regular shorts and T-shirts for sun protective clothing. Put on a hat and sunglasses too. Then, apply sunscreen only to the exposed areas. If you miss a few spots because your kiddo won’t stop moving, you can still have confidence that he or she is mostly covered.
I love the way the sand sticks to the lotion you smeared all over my body.
Kids don’t love the scratchy feeling of sand exfoliating their skin while you apply sunscreen. To minimize this, apply sunscreen before you leave the house. Then, as soon as you get out in the sun, apply sunscreen again. You’ll still need to apply every 2 hours or after swimming, but the first few applications will be clean and easy. Plus, if your child is wearing a Cabana Life swimsuit or kids’ rashguard, you’ll have less area to cover.
I don’t want wrinkles when I grow up. Can you keep putting that sunscreen on me?
Starting the sunscreen routine early is one of the best ways to prevent photoaging. Although your kid doesn’t care about wrinkles now, he or she will thank you in the future.