These suncreen application tips for moms worked for this mother of four. You will have “no tears” while putting on sunscreen, not theirs or yours!
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The things mothers tell us repeatedly throughout our childhood become so engrained that we continue to hear their voices well into adulthood.
Whenever I was faced with a trying or scary situation, my mother used to say: “you will survive,” and she was right, every single time! No matter how challenging it was, how far it stretched me, I survived – time and time again.
Our four boys are growing up hearing “honey, I have something very important to tell you”, and on cue they start to roll their eyes. “We KNOW MOM, we know what you are going to say!” and in unison we say “I love you!” – that’s our cute little routine. But there’s also the practical side of me, the one sharing life advice and motherly tips.
I can only hope our kids will tell their loved ones 20, 30 and 40 years from now: “my mom always said: “there is no such thing as a healthy tan!” and she was right!”
I expect that my constant
nagging reminding them, to never go outside in sun without sunscreen, will hammer home the importance of sun-safety.
I am not giving empty advice, I am speaking from experience. Over ten years ago, I had my first skin cancer removed, it was melanoma. Since then, I have had basal cell carcinoma and several pre-cancerous moles chopped off. I know what I am talking about when I preach sun safety – because for years I was careless and now I am paying the price.
When I tell my friends, some of them balk and say “yeah, but my child hates it when I put sunscreen on him!” I get it, putting sunscreen on a kid is a lot like bathing a cat or doing much of anything to a cat. But… it’s necessary.
If animal tamers can get wild animals to roll over, wave and practically break dance, then you can also get sunscreen on a baby or toddler – without tears (yours or theirs!) It IS possible and it IS necessary.
Sunscreen application tips for moms with wiggly kids:
Step 1: Start with a diaper-clad child. YOU are more than welcome to be fully dressed!
Step 2: Squirt a quarter-sized glob of sunscreen into the palm of your hand, warm it up before applying to your squirmy child.
Step 3: Work from the bottom up: start with the toes, covering the tops and bottoms of their feet. Get in-between the toes too – good luck not tickling them!
Step 4: Ankles, knees (get in all the cracks and crevices of their skin rolls), thighs and make sure to get sun screen beyond the edge of the bathing suit.
Step 5: Continue to arms, underarms (remember to get in all the folds and bends), both sides of the hands and in-between the fingers.
Step 6: Once the front is covered: torso and shoulders, sit the baby up (or flip him over on his tummy) to cover the shoulders and neck. Remember to get under the chin – lots of sticky fuzz and old food hides under there, so adding a little sun screen is important
Step 7: Cover the baby’s ears (front and back), the top of his head (especially where the hair parts) and for the grand finale do the face last! (Kids don’t like their face messed with, so do this as a last step!)
Fun sunscreen application tips:
- Use a wash cloth mitten with a face, apply the sunscreen using the wash cloth puppet.
- Sing silly songs! When all else fails, I sing non-sensical songs to the kids while we brush teeth, give medicine, wash their hair… any of the (necessary) but potentially stressful things I have to do to our kids. They start to focus on my silly song and there is less emphasis on the task at hand.
- Let your toddler, young child apply sun screen to your legs as a distraction. Kids love to “help” and take part in everything you are doing (as you well know)
- Give your toddler, young child a sponge tip paint brush. Let them apply it to their arms and legs, as you are focusing on other areas of their body. (Be sure to go over the areas that they did to make sure there’s enough sunscreen coverage.)
By the time summer is over, sunscreen application will be a fun activity for both of you, and then pat yourself on the shoulder for establishing a life-long healthy routine.
I recently took my mom and the kids to Target to load up on sunscreen. Even my own mom has heard me say “there is no such thing as a healthy tan” enough times to change her behavior. She lives in Denmark and loves to come to Florida to visit us. For years, she would “sun bathe” in our back yard, in spite of my disapproving glares.
She has recently come to realize that maybe I am right about sun exposure, so she wanted to get the best sunscreen for the strong South Florida sun. We loaded up on Neutrogena® Sheer Zinc sunscreen at Target. It is a product I feel good about using on every member of the family, regardless of age.
- My dermatologist recommends using a sunscreen with a “physical barrier” such as Zinc Oxide. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc uses breakthrough Purescreen® technology powered by naturally-sourced Zinc Oxide.
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc provides superior UVA/ UVB sun protection that is effective yet gentle enough for sensitive skin.
- It is sweat and water resistant (for up to 80 minutes). (Remember to reapply after being in the pool and drying with a towel.)
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance as a suitable sunscreen for persons with sensitive skin conditions.
There’s a great in-store and online Target offer going on now until 5.27.2017:
- With a $15 sun care purchase you get $5 Target GiftCard. (And who doesn’t love an excuse to go back to Target in the future?!
- Shop Neutrogena Sheer Zinc at Target.com or in-store.
- Get the $5 Target GiftCard details here.
This summer, we have very few structured plans and activities scheduled. I look forward to a summer spent un-plugged from electronics and plugged into childhood – spending lots of time outdoors, at the beach, by the pool and on the playground – without having to worry the kids getting burnt by the sun.
Hopefully, my new mantra, after this summer, will be “let’s get out and make memories in the sun, kids!”