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Guest Post: Pale Girl Tips for a Sun Safe School Year

Pale Girl SPEAKS’ Hillary Fogelson shares tips for teaching important sunscreen habits in time for the new school year.

Pale Girl SPEAKS, founded by three-time melanoma survivor Hillary Fogelson, is an online resource providing practical advice and tips for living safely in the sun. As a mother of two young girls, Hillary is dedicated to teaching her daughters how to live in the sun safely. Check out her tips for starting off the school year right:
Pale Girl Tips for a Sun Safe School Year
Getting kids to wear sunscreen and commit to sun safe practices can be challenging…to say the least!  The keys to success when it comes to kids and sun protection is keep it simple and make it fun.  You’re in charge – for now – so educate yourself, set a good example, and be consistent.  Here are a few Pale Girl sun protection tips to help ring in the school year – safely!
  1. Make sunscreen application a part of your child’s morning routine.  Just like brushing their teeth, sunscreen should go on every morning before school. The earlier you incorporate sun protection into their everyday schedule, the faster it will become second nature!  
  2. Let your kids pick their own sunscreen:  Like adults, kids have a preference when it comes to sunscreen texture and fragrance. Buy a few options and then let them pick their favorite. It empowers them and makes them feel like they’re an important part of the process – always a good thing!
  3. Consider sunscreen sticks and powders:  Most kids, no matter how little they are, like to do things for themselves. If you have a child who constantly whines, “I do it, I do it” then sunscreen sticks or the all-in-one powders with the brush are worth investing in.  Sunscreen sticks are particularly great because they’re easy to apply and their waxy texture gives them staying power. Powders are perfect for hairlines, parts, back of neck and foreheads.
  4. Appeal to your child’s curiosity:  Kids are naturally curious, particularly about things they can’t see like ultraviolet rays! Encourage their curiosity and creativity by doing a UV ray inspired art project. Ideas to get you started…jewelry made with color changing UV beads or paper projects with sun sensitive paper or colored construction paper.  
  5. Invest in one long-sleeve sun protective t-shirt:  While sunscreen is essential, the first line of defense should always be sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses. Especially for field trips – days when your kids will be exposed to hours and hours of UV rays – long sleeve UPF shirts are a lifesaver. I buy solid colors and then let my kids decorate them with Sharpies. I never hear a complaint about wearing them ‘cause my kids love to show-off their art!!
  6. Ask about school sunscreen policies:  Many schools consider sunscreen a “drug” and don’t allow their students to reapply without a doctor’s note. Find out your children’s school policy on SPF and if a note is needed, get one!

Visit the Pale Girl SPEAKS website for more information about Hillary and her prevention efforts: www.palegirlspeaks.com.