The MommyDocs' 4 Sun Safety Tips - Physician Moms Help Parents Make Sense of Sun Protection Products

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With so many sun protection choices out for the summer, what's a mom to choose? Sunscreen SPF numbers vary widely and seem to have soared to 55 since last season. What can parents do to make sense of all the numbers, sun gear and sun protection clothing available? The MommyDocs offer four strategies for keeping kids safe in the sun.

Every time you come out of the pool, spread more sunscreen over your face and body.

As summer nears, the MommyDocs help parents make sense of the many sun protection products available for kids. From SPF level sun cream choices and sun-protective clothing to innovative solutions like sunscreen wipes and laundry wash, offers four tips to help parents assess products and formulate the best sun protection strategy for their family.

  •     Learn the lingo and shop for sunscreen: SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Everyone needs a sunscreen with a SPF level of 15 or higher and "broad spectrum" coverage (both UVA and UVB rays). Look for ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, avobenzone, sulisobenzone, and mexoryl.
  •     Wear sun protection clothing and gear: Even kids should wear sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection and a wide brim hat. For sun-protective clothing, look for an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30 or greater.
  •     Establish a routine: Make applying sunscreen part of your child's daily routine. Apply it 30 minutes before going out and use enough to cover exposed areas. Don't forget to reapply every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
  •     Pack sunscreen: Give sunscreen (with application instructions) to your child's camp counselors, babysitters, daycare providers, etc. to ensure reapplication throughout the day. As your child gets older, he may be able to reapply it himself with prompting such as, "Every time you come out of the pool, spread more sunscreen over your face and body." features practical pediatric information and reassurance for parents. Run by mom physicians Jamie A. Freishtat, a board certified pediatrician and pediatric associate physician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Rachel L. Schreiber, a board certified allergist/immunologist, internist and Medical Director of Family HealthCare Allergy & Asthma Specialists in Germantown, Maryland, offers children's health information via webchats, q&a's, podcasts and more. The MommyDocs appear on Washington, DC's CBS affiliate WUSA-TV/Channel 9 morning newscasts, as "Baby Health" experts on The Bump (, and as monthly columnists in Washington Parent Magazine.


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Erin Mantz
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