Can you believe the Summer is coming to an end? Even though the beginning of school is drawing near that doesn’t mean you are free to forget about sun protection. Good sun safe habits should continue year round because the sun definitely doesn’t disappear in the Fall, Winter or Spring! It’s important for children to develop year-round sun protection habits to lower their risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Just one blistering sunburn as a child can double a person’s chance of developing skin cancer as an adult.

Once school begins help your child apply sunscreen before you leave the house in the morning. Most elementary school’s have their recesses between 10AM-2PM, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Instruct your child to re-apply their sunscreen before recess asking for a pass to the bathroom and using the mirror to make sure they don’t miss a spot. Encourage your child to play in the shade and most importantly lead by example and protect yourself.

So, you’ve loaded up your shopping cart with pens, markers, crayons, notebooks, and tissues–don’t forget these must-have sun protection items!

1. A wide-brimmed hat that will protect your child’s face, neck, and ears. Try a UV protective hat that can block out 98% of the sun’s UV rays and protect your kiddo’s delicate scalp.

2. Broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 15-30 (depending on your child’s skin tone) that is easy for your child to reapply on his own.

3. UV protective sunglasses–my favorite are Eyes Cream Shades!

4. UV protective clothing for those field trip days when your child might be outside for many hours. ie: Zoo, Botanical Gardens, walking tours, etc. UV Skinz sun wear come in many unique colors that your kids will love pairing with their favorite skirts or shorts. The long-sleeve and short-sleeve options are so light-weight and breathable that it will keep your kiddo cool and comfortable all day long.

Some schools have legislation that allows children to bring hats, sunscreen and sunglasses to school while others prohibit such actions. If your school doesn’t take your child’s sun safety seriously The Skin Cancer Foundation has a form you can print out and have your child’s doctor sign called the Sun Protection Authorization Form. It’s a perfect way to take control of your child’s sun safety while at school. You can also find out how to create a Sun Safety Committee if your school doesn’t have one. Very good resources and I encourage you to take advantage of them.