Get Serious About Sun Safety

8 Ways Doctors Protect Their Own Kids

You need to think about sun safety year-round -- whether you're at the beach, at a soccer game, or in your backyard. In fact, your child gets lots of little doses of UV when you don't even realize it -- while sitting in his stroller or even in the back seat of the car -- and they all add up. Here are smart ways to stay safe.

  1. Nurture your children's lotion devotion. Put sunscreen on them every day after they brush their teeth or before they get dressed. "If you get kids in the habit of wearing sunscreen when they're young, they'll be more likely to make it part of their routine as they get older," says Dr. Cambio.
  2. Fill a basket by your front door with sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. Grab a bottle on your way out so you can put more on later in the day.
  3. Keep sunscreen in all your bags -- from your purse to kids' sports duffels. At the beach, keep it in your cooler; it'll feel refreshing when you reapply.
  4. Put tubes of SPF 30 lip balm in the pockets of frequently worn coats, backpacks, and purses.
  5. Pack sunscreen with your child for preschool or daycare, and talk to his teacher about reapplying it.
  6. Explain to your kids that too much sun is bad for their skin. "Just like you tell them about the dangers of smoking and the importance of eating healthy foods, talk to them about risks from the sun," says Susan Boiko, MD, a pediatric dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente, in San Marcos, California.
  7. Let your kids see you putting sunscreen on yourself -- and don't even think about going to a tanning salon.
  8. Make it fun to play in the shade. Get a UV-protective tent to use in your backyard.

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