You might think that knowing how much kids sunscreen to use is common knowledge amongst parents, but the truth can be very different. While it’s obvious that children need to wear sunscreen, the details can get lost in the often chaotic process of trying to apply it when they’re eager to get outside.

So, how many people wear sufficient sunscreen on average? Well, according to a report by the American Academy of Dermatology, just 25% of people wear enough of it. That also applies when people are applying it to their kids – in fact, it’s often worse.

So, How Much Is Enough?

A good rule of thumb to use is that overestimation is better than the other way around. However, half a shot glass full of kids sunscreen – something that equates to ½ ounce – is enough to cover a toddler. When squirted into the hand, it should be enough to cover about half of an adult’s palm. 

Something else that needs to be considered, as well as quantity, is where it’s applied. Using the lotion generously, you should apply it over all skin that might be exposed.

Ensure That No Areas Get Missed

If any areas of your child’s skin are missed, you could end up having to face the trauma that is sunburn, so it’s imperative you check and re-check to ensure complete coverage. So, once you’ve covered the main areas like the face, arms, legs and neck, have a good look around to make sure there are no obvious missed spots. 

Also, be sure not to forget that your child’s lips can also burn easily, so it’s a good idea to go and get an SPF30 lip balm. Other commonly missed areas include the tops of the feet, behind the knees and the tops of the ears. All can be extremely painful if allowed to burn. 

Getting total coverage with your kids sunscreen is important for the rest of their lives too, as it only takes a single sunburn – at any point – to considerably increase the risk of skin cancer when they’re older.

How Often Should Children’s Sunscreen Be Applied?

The reapplication of sunscreen for children is typically in line with the guidelines for adults. Depending on the type of sunscreen you’re using, it needs to be applied every 2 hours or so, if they’re not swimming or getting wet in other ways. That’s because the water can wash away some of the protection. 

Should your child or toddler get wet, it’s best to reapply straight away – as you’re not going to cause an issue by over-applying. 

Letting Your Kids Enjoy the Sun With Confidence 

The good news is that the rules around how best to use kids sunscreen are particularly easy to understand. Apply before they go out in the sun, keep them topped up every two hours or so and be nice and generous when you’re applying. 

No one wants to see their child suffer from the misery of sunburn and when you do things right, you’ll never have to.