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Give Your Kids a Safe & Sound Summer

Safe & Sound Summer: Love Your Kid’s Skin

Fun days, sun days and lots of coming and going! Keep up with the kids for the ultimate May, June and July!

Love your kid’s skin! The skin is the largest organ in your child’s body and plays a critical role in shielding their inner organs from the environment. In taking care of your kids’ skin during hot summer months, it helps to be aware of the different skin types, but because children are growing, their skin is also changing. With babies, their skin is the newest and very thin, so no matter what “type” they have, they need maximum protection with hats and clothing that shields in addition to sunscreen if they’re older than 6 months.
    Dermatologists categorize skin into five types, according to Carla Lee, a specialist in dermatology with Vanderbilt Health.
Lee says that parents should be very cautious of the sun and sunburns in children. Five or more blistering sunburns in childhood can leave a kid susceptible to skin cancer later on in life. And Lee says protecting ALL skin types in childhood is crucial.
    According to Lee, mineral sunscreens are best for kids, particularly those containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because they work to reflect UV rays away from the skin.
    If your child is 6 months old or younger, keep them out of the sun altogether, if possible, and avoid sunscreen. For this age, dress them in lightweight long sleeves and pants, a hat and sunglasses. Once your child is older, make sure you apply SPF 30  – 50 liberally 20 minutes prior to outdoor time.


       Love Your Kid’s Skin!



Normal skin is neither too oily or too dry, it is balanced. Kids with this skin type have few skin imperfections, no severe sensitivities and barely visible pores. Use a mild soap and apply 30 SPF sunscreen for sun exposure before and after swimming.


This type of skin produces less sebum (the oily substance emitted from underlying glands that moisturizes the skin). Dry skin can feel tight and rough. Be sure children with dry skin get extra hydration. Avoid harsh cleansers and apply SPF 30 sunscreen to this skin frequently and immediately after swimming. Hats are very helpful for the top of the head.


Skin that produces excess sebum (oil from underlying glands) is oily and it has a sort of shiny appearance with larger pores. Kids with this type of skin will have to deal with forms of acne in adolescence. Use mild soap and apply SPF 30 sunscreen for outdoor activities.


This mix of dry and oily requires different care in different areas. Your child’s facial T-zone may be oilier than their cheeks. Use a mild soap, but still apply SPF 30 sunscreen evenly throughout the day and always after swimming.


Caring for this type of skin can be complicated. It can redden, be dry, be itchy. It can come from conditions like rosacea or allergies. Before using any products on this kind of skin, test it on a small area before applying fully. Children with sensitive skin often have very light skin, so take extra special care to love your kid’s skin. Always look for products labeled, “sensitive skin” and avoid chemicals and fragrances.


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About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.