Camp Kids

We are often asked for sunscreen recommendations, particularly for children. After some initial research earlier this season, talking to dermatologists, scouring the more natural market and most importantly testing them out this summer, below is the SPF Love shortlist.

Kids have specific needs – you want to send them off to a long day at camp (or a long day at the beach) with a thick coat of mineral or physical block.  A physical block is typically a product containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that actually creates a physical barrier between skin and the suns rays.  It’s not the easiest to apply, i.e. you can’t quickly spray or wipe it on, or wash off (which is a good thing).  Set aside a few extra minutes on your way out the door, strip the kids down and lube ’em up.  My kids don’t mind the process and actually like if they can squirt the lotion out of the bottle and help apply.

Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Sensitive is the most emollient of the bunch therefore slightly easier to apply. It is fragrance free and is made by the Aussies, who know a thing or two about sun protection. $10

California Baby’s Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30+ has a nice lemongrass smell and my daughter likes the graphics on the bottle – hey whatever works! $18

But that’s not it!  Next is the tricky part, reapplying.  When you can’t be there, you can’t expect your little one to do it.  Can you expect camp counselors to do it?  Not so much.  I’ve found, you have to make it easy. First make sure you tell the counselors your wishes, they need to be reminded that it’s important to you.  Then put it in writing: “Please reapply Ryan’s sunscreen when he comes out of the water each day.” Finally, provide them with something easy, like a great spray.  We like Kiss My Face Sun Spray Lotion in SPF 30. $16

SPF wipes are easy too, try MD Mom’s Baby Silk Sunscreen Towelettes in SPF 30+. A bit pricy at $26 but if it provides some peace of mind…

All of the above provide broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection and are natural/chemical free.  Now, enjoy camp while it lasts!



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