Moms Who Don't Put Sunscreen on Their Kids 365 Days a Year Are Irresponsible

Rant 123

sunscreenSummer is great and all, but you know what's a real pain in the butt? Having to put sunscreen on our kids every morning. If yours are anything like mine -- they act like having it applied is a mild form of torture. But as much of a hassle as it is to add lubing up our kiddos into our morning routines, and as much as they moan and gripe about it -- we have to do it.

Actually, forget limiting it to summer -- no matter what time of year it is, if your kid is going to be outside, he needs to wear sunscreen. (Yes, even in winter. And on cloudy days. The sun is a sneaky little sucker.)

Because it's nothing short of irresponsible to send your child off into the sun's damaging rays if he's not protected. I mean, what kind of mom are you if your kid comes home from school or camp looking like a lobster -- all because you couldn't take the extra five minutes to put sunscreen on him?

There's no other way of putting it -- sunburns really suck. For more than one reason. Sure, they're uncomfortable, unsightly, and make it even more unbearable to be outdoors once you have one, but they're also a leading cause of skin cancer.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, all it takes is one sunburn resulting in blisters as a kid -- and your risk of developing melanoma down the road doubles. Did you hear that? DOUBLES.

As extreme as it sounds, choosing to forgo sunscreen could wind up being a matter of life and death, so you have to put it on your kids every day. You just have to. Because if you don't, and your child gets a bad sunburn and ultimately gets cancer as an adult, it's basically your fault, right?

I know, I know -- we can't control every single minute of our kids' days, and even if we send them out the door each morning covered from head to toe with all kinds of SPF love, it's not like it's going to last all day or anything. The American Melanoma Foundation recommends putting it on in the morning, 30 minutes before they're going to be exposed to the sun, and after that, it needs to be reapplied after swimming or excessive perspiration.

And I guess that means we need to constantly stress the importance of reapplying sunscreen throughout the day to our kids, but come on -- how many of them are actually going to remember to do it? As far as my little guy is concerned, I could probably tell him 1,000 times that he needs to put more on after he's all hot and sweaty -- but I know he's not going to do it. He won't remember. He'll be all caught up in whatever kind of fun thing he's doing, and getting the sunscreen out of his backpack will be the last thing on his mind.

And I know most camps, schools, day cares, etc., either won't put sunscreen on your kid or simply aren't allowed to -- but can't they at least throw in a reminder now and then to make sure our children are protected? I'm not saying they should be fully responsible or anything, because it's our job to do the initial application. But a small, "Ok, kids! Time to put on a little more sunscreen!" after a jaunt in the pool really isn't too much to ask. (Or is it?)

Bottom line -- if you don't make sunscreen an everyday thing, especially this summer, you probably need to get your priorities in line. But maybe if everyone, including parents, teachers, camp counselors, etc., stressed the importance of it, there would be a lot less kids going home at the end of the day burnt to a crisp and totally miserable.

Do you put sunscreen on your kids every day?


Image via Fifth World Art/Flickr

elementary school, safety, summer break


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BGarcel BGarcel

I second Sirena's comment.

Craft... CraftyJenna

Actually, Rickets is coming back as a disease especially in children because of lack of sun exposure and over use of sunscreen. Look it up, you need viatamin D, you need sunshine. There is a balance.

JS0512 JS0512

"what kind of mom are you if your kid comes home from school or camp looking like a lobster -- all because you couldn't take the extra five minutes to put sunscreen on him?" 

Answer: a mom who forgot.  Shit happens.  People forget important stuff all the time, doesn't mean we love our kids any less.  My oldest has had a few sunburns and it sucked and I felt awful, but remembered how many sunburns I had as a kid and cut myself some slack. 

worms... wormspoop

I will never put sunscreen on my child. Have you not seen all the studies abut the harmful effects? There are ways to prevent sunburn without harmful chemicals. There's tons of information out there on this topic but here is one article I really like.

Choco... Chocodoxies

I would have to say that making sure your child never has unmitigated access to the suns HELPFUL rays is irresponsible. Clearly you have done little to no research regarding the harmful effects of "protection" from the sun. The rays of the sun, healthy for the flora and fauna are only unhealthy for human children? That makes zero sense. As a matter of fact, what you may not realize is that by refusing your children access to the sun, they do not develop a natural protection. Darwin would point out to you that without access to the sun, we are going to have a world of sunlight intolerant people in no time. Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise, rickets are on the rise. Children with psoriasis need access to the sun's rays in order to treat the disease. This judgemental rant is nothing more than uneducated and poorly researched drivel. 

fave82 fave82

Um, is this the author who has her 7 yr old son sleep with her, eat alone in front of the tv every night, and taught him to lie to his teacher to get out of class??? Thanks but i think the best decision i could make for my child would be NOT to take any advice from you.

Freedom Warner-Gorris

I am born and raised in Fl so are my three kids and the only time we use sunscreen is if we will be spending a good amount of time in the direct sun say at the beach or pool. That being said my three kids have never been sunburt ever, as even at school my kids are not in direct sun exposure. Two the scholl will not reapply sunscreen and I do not know about the author of theis atricle but how many of us parents can actually tell our jobs " sorry I can not go to this meeting because every couple hours I have to go to my childs daycare or school or afterschool program to reapply their sunscreen. I do not think anyone would be able to keep a job " Even stay at home moms have work to do. I also know that you need vitamin d and the best way to get it is the sun in moderation of course.

lalab... lalaboosh

Uuugh, what a stupid rant!

Sleep... SleepingBeautee

I have three very fair skinned kids. All three go to school without sunscreen each day. WHY? Because they need some sun and the 30 minutes they go outside for gym and recess isn't long enough for a bad burn. Now if they are going on a field trip where they will be out longer, they get the sunscreen. It all has to do with moderation and being careful when needed, not going overboard and being completely paranoid.

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