The sun is finally out! But how do you apply sun cream to a sun cream-refusing toddler? We have five tips for putting sun cream on small children, in our brand new post
It's Summer Fun month on the blog, and one thing about summer all parents know is the importance of keeping your children safe in the sun.
NHS advice is that that babies under six months should be kept out of direct sun light, and all children should have their skin protected from March - October, wear protective hats and clothing and have any exposed skin covered in cream with an SPF of higher than 15 (at the very least) with UVA and UVB protection.
You can also read our post on how to prevent and treat sunburn in small children.
But what happens when your child hates sun cream, and in a scene that's familiar to most parents, runs away, screaming, at the very mention?
Firstly, it's common for toddlers and small children to dislike sun cream for many reasons. They might not like the sensation of the cream on on their skin, or they might not like standing still for long enough for you to rub it in. Parents might not love having to constantly chase small children around in circles to apply it (sound familiar?)
So secondly, if every day is a sun cream-applying slippery struggle, here are five tips that might help make it better:
Help them to do it themselves: If they are fiercely independent and hate other people doing things for them, a trick might be to let them do it themselves (while you supervise). Use a spray lotion they can direct and help them to rub it in the areas they can reach. It might appease them while you quickly do the rest.
Invest in a sun cream roller: Solar Buddies make reusable, refillable sun cream applicators designed specifically for use by children. The applicators have a chunky bottle that is easier for children to grip, a rollerball for gradual and even application and and a soft sponge to help spread it around (available to buy here). It's a fun way of putting on sun cream that they can control.
Buy swimwear with an added SPF factor: All clothes have a certain degree of SPF in them, depending on the thickness and material. However, lots of swimwear for children is manufactured in a way that gives it added sun protection. Ditch the idea of strappy swimming costumes and instead invest in surfer-style suits with long sleeves and legs, that cover as much of the body as possible. If they're really resistant to sun cream keep the body covered in sun-safe material so you have much less surface space to apply cream to.
Distraction: Try and deflect their attention while you're applying the cream - why not try the old fail-safe of putting CBeebies on, or give them a snack? You never know, it might just do the trick.
Keep them in the shade: It's advised that you keep children in the shade as much of a sunny day as possible anyway, but if putting sun cream on small children is too much of a struggle then stay in the shade, or inside, instead. It's too hot to parent today, anyway.
Do you have any brilliant tips for putting sun cream on small children? We'd love to hear them. Make sure you also read our toddler picnic tips for sunny days