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Summer is riding in on the heels of spring. With that comes a lot of safety hazards for kids: swimming, bug bites, poison ivy, the sun, deadbolts (wait, that was my childhood)… Today in an entry I affectionately titled “Cover Your Ass” I will “cover” sun safety.

Who remembers being “encouraged” to play outside all day? I mean, if it wasn’t for those pesky door locks, we all probably would’ve spent those oppressively hot summer days lounging on the couch in the air conditioning watching TV. The hazards of the sun were little known to us decades ago.

Until recently, finding stocks of sunblock as opposed to baby oil and other tanning concoctions was a rarity. Nowadays, doctors not only encourage a liberal use of sunscreen, but also want you to keep your kids out of the sun for long periods of time, especially between the hours of 10 and 2. In addition, most doctors also agree that the best protection is clothing – no itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini for generation AO.

I’m sure all of you mommas slather on the sunscreen anytime your child will be having some fun in the sun. But from the wide array of lotions, which do you choose? Think they’re all created equal? The Environment Working Group or EWG (a non-profit organation dedicated to changing national policies to protect public health and the environment) says “no.”

The EWG studied more than 1,700 sunblocks. Their analysis of safety and effectiveness is based on several factors including UVA and UVB protection, stability of the active ingredients, potential skin absorption and health hazards of all active and inactive ingredients. According to recent data, sunscreens should not contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and should not have an SPF of 50+. Then each product was given a health hazard rating from 1-10 (with one being the best), based on an specific algorithm, you know, science.

So which sunblocks landed on the “best of” list and which are included in the Hall of Shame? I’ll list a small sampling here in no particular order, but you can visit the EWG’s website for the ratings of all sunscreens. Not entirely surprising, most of the best sunblocks are labeled for babies and children. Don’t let that stop you from using them yourself. Keep in mind, not all brands are created equal, not all sunblocks within a brand are considered safe and more expensive does not always mean safer. By the way, I’m not affiliated with these brands in any way. Just reporting back what the EWG recommends.

Where does your favorite land?


Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50

California Baby has several Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

Earth’s Best: Sunblock Mineral Based, SPF 30+

Walgreens Sunscreen, SPF 45

Johnson & Johnson Johnson’s Baby Daily Face & Body Lotion, SPF 40


Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 50

Baby Blanket SunBlankie Towelette SPF 45+

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55

Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+

Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect, SPF 110

Elizabeth Arden – Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face, SPF 50

Rite Aid Kids Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 45


Apply sunscreen a half hour before heading outside

Reapply liberally, especially after sweating or swimming

Don’t forget the tops of ears, noses and feet

Ensure your sunscreen is broad spectrum – meaning both UVA and UVB protection

Use even if you are in the shade and on cloudy days

Avoid oxybenzone and vitamin A which have been linked to skin cancer

Look for active ingredients of Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide

Buy new sunscreen every year as they lose their effectiveness in a few months

Protect your eyes with sunglasses

Be sure to test sunscreen, especially on babies and children by applying a small amount on the arm a few days before heading into the sun

If a skin irritation develops, consult your doctor


Infants under 6 months do not yet have melanin so keep them out of direct sun as much as possible.

Talk to your doctor before using sunscreen on an infant. Most advise against it, but The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants as a backup if shade cannot be found.

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  1. This is great! I love all California Baby Products…they are so great! Glad to see it made your list!!!

  2. Interesting. My highly recommended and well known dermatologist recommends only Neutrogena. So I’m going to have to look more into why it’s rated so poorly. Thanks!

  3. Thank goodness I’m on the list of Good Sunscrens 🙂 That’s what I get for Matilda- I’m helping you with your comments today! And I’m going to address your questions on today’s vlog episode I’ll send out my newsletter when it’s ready have an amazing day!


  1. […] I’ve already shared EWG’s list of the best and worst sunscreens, but did you know that regardless of which sunscreen you use, you should apply and reapply […]

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