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For parents, it can mean the constant chore of sunscreen application and reapplication. To end the sun care battle and make sun protection a routine part of outdoor activities, parents can now take a few simple steps to help ensure sun safety all summer.

Sun protection is essential to any outdoor activity because the sun produces invisible rays known as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB), which cause sunburn and damage. Harmful UV rays are more extreme in the summer, which makes right now the perfect time for parents to develop their summer sun care strategy.

“The more sun exposure children get, the greater their chances of long-term skin damage,” said Dr. David Leffell, Professor of Dermatology & Surgery at Yale School of Medicine. “When children play in the sun and surf, they have specific sun care needs.”

Here are some sun care tips to help create your family’s sun care strategy:

– Stage a coverup-Wear dark-colored, tightly woven clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.

– Cover all the bases-It’s easy-to-overlook spots like your ears, neck, and the back of your neck, but they need sunscreen, too. So does your scalp if your child has thin or short hair.

– Reapply, reapply, reapply -Slap on another coat of sunscreen as needed–and be sure to reapply after swimming, perspiring, vigorous activity, or toweling off.

– Select sunscreens that can keep up with kids-When children are playing in the sun and surf, they have specific sun care needs. Use waterproof sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher. Also, look for suncare products that are quick and easy to apply to squirmy kids. (Keep babies under six months out of the sun and consult a doctor before using sunscreen.)

– Be a shade seeker – Duck the sun’s rays the apparent way: Stay in the shade whenever possible! Avoid being outside when the sun’s rays are strongest (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

Families can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe by having a solid action plan that includes cover-up clothing, timely activities, and sunscreen.

Sunscreen manufacturers offer a variety of products to protect children’s skin from the dangerous UV rays of the sun. The makers of CoppertoneÆ, America’s original sunscreen, recently launched COPPERTONE KIDSÆ CONTINUOUS SPRAY SPF 50, a sunscreen that offers quick and even coverage at the touch of a button. The clear, no-rub formula and twist-lock cap eliminate spills and messy hands and make reapplication a breeze-especially when dealing with on-the-go kids. This SPF 50 formulation contains the sunscreen ingredient avobenzone for broad-spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

“The convenience offered through continuous-spray sunscreens is especially helpful in protecting children from the harmful effects of the sun because parents will be more willing to apply and reapply, which is a critical factor in better sun protection,” said Dr. Leffell.

Being strategic about sun exposure combined with proper sunscreen use will help decrease the chance of sunburn and the potential of some types of skin cancer down the road. Parents can enjoy outdoor family activities by planning their sun care strategy in advance, such as playing at the beach and watching a baseball game together.

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