Spending time outside is important for helping babies and children develop and grow. There's nothing like fresh air and the beauty of nature to stimulate children's minds, and time spent at the playground, the park, the beach and in your own backyard all encourage your little one to exercise and stay healthy. To ensure that your child's time in the sun leads to nothing but fun, you need to keep his or her skin protected. The harsh ultraviolet energy found in sunlight can quickly burn children's delicate skin, leading to uncomfortable irritation. Ultraviolet exposure has more severe consequences over time as well and can increase your child's risks of developing skin cancer later in life.
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The best way to keep your child shielded from the sun is to liberally apply sunscreen to his or her skin 30 minutes before you go outside and to then reapply it at least every 2 hours while you remain outdoors. Because kids and babies have delicate skin that is more prone to irritation than adults', many traditional sunscreen formulas are too harsh. As a result, top sun care brands produce special formulas for the needs of infants and children, and you'll find a wide variety of these unique sunscreens here at drugstore.com.
When choosing a sunscreen for your little one, selecting the right level of SPF protection is important. The Sun Protection Factor or SPF is a measure of a formula's ability to protect against the wavelength of ultraviolet radiation known as UVB. An SPF of 30 protects your child from 97% of UVB radiation. An SPF of 50 blocks against 98%. As the SPF increases in number, the percentage of protection becomes increasingly incremental. The SPF factor doesn't take into account UVA rays, however. To shield against the sun's harmful UVA rays, make sure to select a sunscreen labeled "broad spectrum." If you're unsure which SPF rating or sunscreen type is ideal for your baby or child's unique skin care needs, ask your pediatrician for advice.
In addition to choosing the right SPF level, you'll also need to select the best application method. This decision will be based largely on your personal preference, as each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. Our collection includes stick-based sunscreens, which are simple to apply but can take more time to use than traditional cream-based sunscreens. Sprays can be applied very quickly but are more difficult to control. Gels are rapidly absorbed by the skin and require less massaging to work into the skin tissue, while traditional creams take the guesswork out of application by making it very easy to tell where you have applied the product and where you still need to apply sun protection.
At drugstore.com, you'll find a huge selection of sunscreens to help you protect your baby or child's skin from the dangerous effects of the sun. We have both natural mineral and synthetic sunscreens included in our collection, and we carry formulas from all of the biggest names in sun care. You can focus on one particular brand or products in a certain price range by using the links on the left-hand side of the page. Begin exploring our baby and kids sun care collection today!