What Moms Need To Know: Sunblock

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It's summer time! Kids are spending a lot of time outdoors. But sunblock can be confusing at times. News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen and Elisa DiStefano sat down with Dr. Dimitria Papadopoulos to discuss what mom needs to know about sunblock!

1. What do I do with my old sunblock from last summer? Check the label! Look for broad spectrum, water resistant, SPF 30 or higher and of course the expiration date. The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years. 

2. How much is enough sunblock? At least one ounce of sunscreen is necessary with each application...which is enough to fill a shot glass.

3. When do I put the sunblock on? Best time to apply is when you are undressed, before putting on your swimsuit and/or clothing, this way you won't miss a spot. Let it dry for a few minutes or so and then put your swimsuit and/or clothing on. Don't forget your scalp, ears, face, back of the neck and feet. Must apply at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply every two hours. Put an alarm on your phone when you are outdoors as a reminder of reapplication time. Reapply after sweating and swimming. Apply on cloudy days and all year round covering all skin that isn't covered by clothing. 

4. My child can't stand the feel of sunblock what do I do? I always say …..the BEST sunblock is the one you will use. I suggest visiting your local dermatologist and trying different formulations out via the sample route. It's one thing to read about ease of use and one thing to actually try it. There are creams, lotions, sticks, sprays. Most children can tolerate the sprays and now there are mineral sunscreen sprays which are very safe...my favorite are Bare Republic Mineral sunscreen spray, Coola Mineral sunscreen spray and Supergoop Mineral sunscreen mist.  No sunscreen blocks 100% of the sun's UV rays, so rash guards and other sun protective clothing is also an option. Many companies offer this type of clothing, my personal favorite is Coolibar. 

5. Can I get away without applying sunblock on a rainy day? NEVER! You never know when the sun will come out. Sunrays are also dispersed through the clouds and can give you a bad burn when you least expect it. 

6. Which sunblock is the best for an infant? Safety first! Any sunblock with zinc oxide and /or titanium dioxide are considered best with respect to safety. They are gentle on the skin and prevent sunburn. Don't rely on clothing only. Always apply on their cute faces too, a hat is not enough protection.

7. Which sunblock is the best overall for my child? My favorites are Neutrogena pure and free liquid sunscreen SPF 50 (no residue.....the BEST!),  Neutrogena Sheer Zinc face sunscreen SPF 50, Neutrogena Pure and Free Body sunscreen SPF 60+, Aveeno Baby continuous protection sunscreen SPF 50, Cerave mineral sunscreen lotion SPF 50 for the face and body.

8. My child is allergic to everything...which sunblock do I use? These are considered organic and rated well.... Kiss My Face Kids Mineral SPF 30 Natural Organic sunscreen, Blue Lizard products, Califronia Baby Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Trubaby Water and Play Sunscreen SPF 30, Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, Adorable Baby Sunscreen Stick SPF 30+.

9. Which sunblock is gluten free? California Baby Broad Spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen is gluten, soy, oat, dairy and nut (except coconut) free and is a titanium dioxide sunblock that is eco friendly and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

10. What do I do when my child gets out of the water....when do I put the sunblock on? Don't wait until they dry off! Get into shade, pat dry their skin and reapply and let them sit in shade for fifteen minutes. This should be done with friends or during snack time so you don't get resistance. 

11. What do I do when my child had sunblock on in the morning...sweat and went swimming and when I went to apply more sunblock,...my child was screaming that the sunblock was burning? What steps do I take? This sometimes happens, it's called an irritant contact dermatitis and happens just from the combination of all factors at the beach or pool. When a child is screaming, don't talk them through it,...take off the sunblock with cold water and if possible apply an icepack to decrease swelling, then apply an over the counter healing ointment like one from Cerave or Aquaphor and if the stinging is severe think about adding an over the counter hydrocortisone cream to the mix. Avoid products with too many ingredients and then use a physical blocker like the ones I mentioned. 

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