Putting (and Keeping) Sunscreen on Children

1. Before applying, consider other ways to protect skin

Dressing your child in sun-safe clothing will minimize the amount of skin you have to cover with sunscreen, which will reduce the struggle from the start.

2. Make it a ritual right from the start

Kids should understand early on: “The privilege of getting to do this fun activity comes with the responsibility of taking care of our skin while we do it.”

3. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply

When you arrive at the beach and kids can see the water, the last thing they’ll want to do is hang around for a sunscreen application. Make sure they’re protected and ready to go.

For sunscreen to work best, apply it 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.  In an ideal world, you’re in an indoor environment when you apply.

4. Apply when they’re strapped in their car seat

This approach can make the process easier with infants and toddlers.

5. Make it fun

Make up games, sing songs, do a silly dance — whatever it takes to make the sunscreen application fun.

6. With older kids, appeal to their vanity

The most powerful strategy for reluctant teens is not around cancer risk and scary scars from melanoma, but around vanity and appearances.

7. Consider spray

They’re convenient, easy to use, and may encourage families to reapply sunscreen in regular intervals.

8. Make sure you have enough

The key to having sunscreen stay in the right place is to use enough. You need an ounce of sunscreen to cover someone’s whole body, so if you have a 3-ounce bottle, it won’t last for a whole day once you start to reapply.

9. Reapply strategically

When children get out of the water for a break or a snack, it’s the perfect time to reapply.

10. Be prepared for impromptu fun in the sun

A sunscreen stick packed in a purse will ensure you always have sunscreen on hand.

Swaps to Make Your Kid’s Bagged Lunch Healthier

Adapted from

research study published in the 2014 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that roughly one-quarter of school lunches brought from home met 3 of 5 national standards for proper nutrition which means that 75 percent of school kids might be eating less than nutritious lunches brought from home.  Note, food purchased in school through the school lunch program must meet strict nutrition standards.

You may be wondering if your kids will eat a healthier lunch, after all, it can take time for a picky eater to get used to drastic changes.

Good news!  You probably don’t need a total overhaul on your kids’ lunches — just try a few simple swaps to make lunch healthier.

5 Swaps to Make Your Kid’s Bag Lunch Healthier

Swap #1:  Whole grain bread instead of white bread

Swap #2:  Baked crackers instead of greasy potato or corn chips

Swap #3:  Grilled or baked chicken breast instead of lunch meat

Swap #4:  Fresh fruit instead of a cupcake

Swap #5:  Water instead of sugary soft drinks

Click here for additional information on these tips.


Stay Hydrated and Be Ready to Learn

child drinking waterStaying hydrated is very important.  Dehydration is linked to skin, bladder and kidney problems as well as fatigue and headache.  It is also linked to poor performance in students.  Your brain is 75% water.  If you are dehydrated your brain can’t perform at its optimal level.  Below are a few tips to make sure your kids are staying hydrated throughout the day.




Serve water with breakfast

  • Drinking water when you first wake up can actually help jump start your metabolism and energize you for your day.

Give your kids a water bottle

  • Kids can’t drink water throughout the day without a water bottle.  Tell them to refill it between classes so they can stay hydrated throughout the day.

Limit the amount of sugary beverages

  • Sugar, as well as salt, makes your body waste water just to clean it out of your system.  Limit the number of sugary beverages that your child drinks and always serve water along side them.

Manage your child’s water intake

  • The simplest way to make sure they are drinking enough water is to ask them how much they’ve had or how many times they refilled their water bottle.  Make sure to ask in a positive way to encourage them to keep drinking.


What other ways do you encourage your children to stay hydrated?  Tell us in the comments below, post it on our Facebook wall or tweet us at @HealthyKids2Day.