Children's Sunscreen: FSA Eligibility
No prescription required.
Why is children's sunscreen necessary?
Sun protection is a major consideration for parents of small children, as sustaining just five major sunburns during youth can raise a child's risk of developing life-threatening skin cancers like melanoma by 80 percent. Sunburns are caused by the skin's absorption of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which are present whether it's sunny or cloudy, reaching their peak levels between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and are directly tied to the formation of skin cancer. Babies 6 months and younger should not go into the sun under any circumstance, but after this age, parents are encouraged to pay close attention to their child's sun protection regimen (American Academy of Dermatology).
What is the best children's sunscreen?
Parents who are trying to choose a proper children's sunscreen should look for a series of important factors, including via American Academy of Dermatology:
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher: When shopping for children's sunscreen, the product's sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the item's ability to prevent UV rays from harming the skin. For instance, if a person's skin can remain unprotected in the sun for 30 minutes without burning, an SPF 15 product will theoretically protect the wearer for 15 times longer, or for 7.5 hours.
- Broad Spectrum Protection: UV radiation is broken up into two primary wavelengths: UVA (long-wave) and UVB (short-wave) radiation. UVA and UVB rays contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage and most skin cancers, and UVA rays make up about 95 percent of all UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface, while the other 5 percent is UVB rays. While UVB rays are the chief cause of sunburn and damage the outermost layers of the skin, UVA rays can penetrate down to the dermis level and can spark the development of some skin cancers. As such, parents should search for sunscreen with broad spectrum protection, which means that it will block out both UVA and UVB rays.
- Water Resistance: Sunscreen that can stand up to water during swimming or sweat during heavy activity is a major concern for the product's efficacy, especially with active children. The Federal Drug Administration has ruled that sunscreens that are considered "water-resistant" will continue protect wearers for at least 40 minutes after application. Because no sunscreen is 100 percent waterproof, it's vital that wearers re-apply throughout the day to maintain a full spectrum of protection.