During the summer months (or year-round in warm climates), sunscreen should be applied every day in order to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays.
Most parents are very aware that sunscreen is necessary when swimming or outside for long periods of time but often don’t realize how much sun exposure children get on a daily basis.
Ideally, we should apply sunscreen to all exposed skin first thing in the morning to ensure optimal protection. For most kids, this means the face, neck, arms, and legs should be coated in a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide-based sunscreen as part of your morning routine. Apply it liberally; the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests a golf ball-sized amount with each application. Adding sun protective clothing instead of a regular t-shirt improves their level of protection as does a hat and sunglasses when outside on the playground, walking down the street, or playing in your yard.
Reviewed by Dr. Eva Benmeleh, September 2020