We are currently in the middle of a sweltering summer heat wave, with temperatures scorching thermometers into the high 90s and low 100s every single day. It’s the perfect weather for swimming, so you want to make sure your kids are fully protected before venturing outdoors and into the pool.

Kids have sensitive skin, so here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep in mind before you hit the pool or outdoor water park this summer.

  1. Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher is essential. Most drug stores have SPF as high as 65, which is great for kids and babies. Make sure it provides UVB and UVA ray protection.
  2. Apply sunscreen at least half an hour before heading out into the sun and reapply throughout the day for maximum protection.
  3. Keep to the shade, and if you can’t find a shady spot at the local pool or beach, carry your beach umbrella with you.
  4. Avoid going out in the sun during its most powerful hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  5. Cover up exposed skin with light, airy cotton clothing, and shade little faces with wide-brimmed hats. This will not only keep the sun off their face, but protect sensitive scalp skin from burning.

Even overcast days can result in sunburn, so always be prepared. You might even want to carry a small bottle of sunscreen in your purse or diaper bag, just in case.

You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of skin-soothing aloe vera on hand, just in case someone gets burned.

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