As your children become older, their growing independence means we have to rely on them remembering to take care of some of their daily needs. One of those regular needs I want to remind you about is sunscreen. Although the current generation of children is doing so much better than previous generations with regular use of sunscreen. A recent study (Pediatrics, February 2012, Dr. Dusza and others) showed that many preteens have had a sunburn in the past year. Preventing this sun damage helps prevent skin cancer later.
Remind your children to regularly use sunscreen before times outside, whether hanging out with friends, going to the pool, or playing sports. The Spring sports season starts soon and it is a good time to get back into the habit of using sunscreen -- for tennis, soccer, baseball, and softball, field hockey, lacrosse, and all the other awesome Spring sports. Follow the directions on the package. It is best to reapply if out in the sun for a long time. Use at least a SPF of 30. Higher SPFs have not been shown to be "much better" (and can be more expensive). If the cost is the similar, using a higher SPF makes sense.