If you have Toddlers and they like to swim, summer can be a really fun time at the swimming pool. Of course, sunscreen is a must for children out in the sun. Unfortunately, most kids from toddlers to teens hate putting on sunscreen. It’s messy, hard to rub in, greasy, feels funny, and tastes bad if you get it in your mouth. Don’t even think about how it stings if you get it in your eyes.
At swimming pools, it is doubly bad because swimming washes off sunscreen after a while. Don’t let the word waterproof sunscreen fool you. There is not such thing as waterproof sunscreen. In fact, if the FDA ever decides that it is more important to protect America’s children than it is to protect sunscreen company’s profits, the word waterproof will be banned from appearing on the label. As it is right now, any company that labels their sunscreen as waterproof is engaging in fraud, albeit legally sanctioned fraud.
All sunscreen regardless of brand or SPF level washes off in water. It says so right on the label where it tells you to reapply after swimming. What it doesn’t tell you right on the label is that the amount of time a sunscreen is effective in the water is measured based on how long it stays on while stationary in still water! In other words, the time on the bottle is a lie because your kids are going to be moving around and splashing in water that is moving thanks to the hundreds of other kids who are also moving around.
Add it all up and you should be re-applying sunscreen on children every 30 minutes when they are swimming. For toddlers, you should consider doing it even more often because of their sensitive skin.
If the thought of all that time spent making Junior unhappy and listening to crying and whining while you put on even more sunscreen than you used to, makes you sick to your stomach, there is another option.
Rash Guards are swim tops that were originally designed for surfers and divers to help protect their torsos from scratches and scrapes on coral and other water objects. These days, they make them for just about anyone and they are perfectly comfortable in the water. (They are not as comfortable out of the water, so plan on waiting to put them on at the pool.)
As an added bonus they cover up your boys and girls to a more comfortable level for you and them than typical swimsuits. And, since they are made for surfers, they are already cool. Just make sure and get fun patterns or plain colors, preferably your young kid’s favorite colors.
Since they cover up one of the big sunscreening areas, putting on sunscreen more often becomes much less of a chore, and your little ones are still protected.
It’s a win-win for everyone.