Applying suncream on your child can be frustrating, as most youngsters will do anything rather than let you go any where near them with the sticky cream, and it’s a task that many parents dread having to do.
While younger kids may whine and moan, you will get it on them, eventually; however, big kids are a whole different world – refusing to sit still, stamping their feet and generally being annoying.
Here are five great strategies to use when it’s sunscreen time:
Put it on at home
Don’t wait until you are at the park or the beach to put on the sunscreen. It’s hard enough applying it on your child without them being distracted by the swings or the water. Put it on at home so when you get there your little one can immediately start having fun.
Let them put it on you
Why should your little one have to endure the uncomfortable, stickiness of sun cream if you don’t? To be fair, take it in turns to apply the cream on each other. This way your little one won’t feel like they are the only ones wearing it and you will be setting a good example. Also, putting it on you will be a distraction when you are putting it on them.
Make it fun
Kids love playing so make applying suncream fun, rather than a chore. Draw pictures, like flowers, hearts and smiley faces on their arms or belly with the cream and rub it in. To avoid tantrums and other feet stamping, make sure putting the cream on becomes about having a few giggles as well as being sun smart.
Tell them how important it is
Talk to your kids about being sun safe, however, keep in mind their age when discussing it. Older kids are mature enough to understand the basics, so don't go into the details of UVA and UVB rays and avoid scaring them by talking about skin cancer. Talk about the damaging effects of the sun and tell them how sore and dangerous sunburn is. Telling them the reasons for putting the cream on will encourage them to sit still. It may also distract them while you out it on.
Give them a choice
Now that your kids are older, you can give them a choice about whether they put sunscreen on or not. Say, “If you want to go outside you have to put the cream on, if not, you can stay inside – your choice.”