High protection, low chemical sunscreen is messy and leaves streaks on clothing worse than deodorant. Avoiding streaks while applying to energetic kids is like the the game of golf where you can always improve and you can be just a smidge off and it will ruin your day. Here are some tips’ I’ve
learned earned the hard way over the past two years.
1) Apply naked. Pick out the outfit your child will wear, but apply the sunscreen before you put on clothes. This reduces white streaks on clothing and it’s easy to get the sunscreen an inch or two above hems which protects skin exposed during play.
2) Give the kid a stick. While I apply sunscreen to Mirielle’s body, I give her a stick of sunscreen in one hand and mirror in the other, and ask her to take care of her own face. Kids love the independence of doing things themselves and it keeps them distracted. It is unlikely that a younger kids will apply the sunscreen evenly and everywhere, so give cheerful feedback on missed spots, like “did you stick your ears?” or “hey, there’s a naked spot between your eyebrows and hair.” Then, grab the stick to fill in the missing spots and use your fingers to spread out
all the any glops.
3) Turn on and tune out. Braiding hair, applying sunscreen, cutting nails and the other dreaded personal grooming routines where a still child favors success are a great time to turn on PBS Kids and let your child zone out.