As the temperature starts to soar, one thing comes to mind: sunscreen. But when you go through the aisles at your store to purchase one, do you really know what you’re looking for? You will now, because the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its list of the best sunscreens for children, from babies to older kids, to help keep your child’s skin safe.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding sunscreens, and it’s mostly because of “inadequate regulations governing the safety and efficacy” of the products, according to the EWG report. It cites that some sunscreens “offer inadequate protection or use potentially hazardous ingredients, or both.” Still, you should know what to look for when it comes to selecting sunscreens. “In general, babies under six months should avoid direct sun and wear sun protective clothing,” Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Romper. “Children over six months of age should wear SPF 30 sunscreen or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen and make sure to reapply every 2 hours.”
As for the ingredients, Dr. Garshick recommends, “Especially for young children, it is best to stick with mineral blockers which contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These work by reflecting UV rays off the skin.” Equally as important is to check the sunscreen label to see if it’s water-resistant and for how long. “It’s recommended to use mineral sunscreens which are physical blockers containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide these tend to be less likely to cause sensitivity or irritation,” she says.
And whether a stick versus a spray is better, Dr. Shari Sperling, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, says it doesn’t really matter. “Some kids prefer a cream versus a spray versus a lotion versus a stick,” says Dr. Sperling. “As long as it has an SPF 30 or higher and it’s applied all over, it really is up to the family to decide which they prefer.”
So get ready to slather on these sunscreens to help protect your child’s skin and block out a potential burn — and woot, all are safe for breastfeeding mommas, according to Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, a certified lactation consultant. “Since the ingredients are applied topically, all of the products below are safe for breastfeeding parents,” says O’Connor. “There is nothing that is toxic or would cause an interruption to milk supply."
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.