Thursday, June 19, 2008


Maybe I'm the only sun know-nothing out there, but just in case, I want to share a bit of what I learned today. See, out of the five kids, I've got two that seem like they are constantly getting sunburned. I think we've got the problem licked in the beginning of spring after we have our first round of sunburns and we're back into lathering sunscreen on, but then we get it again. And again. And again.

After sending Sammy off to day camp today lathered with sunscreen plus more to reapply and a sunburned chest and back from swimming a couple days in a row (at least that will be covered), I popped online to check the temp for today. A bit cooler than the past couple of days, but still hot. I noticed the 11+ UV rating, and decided to check that out.

First, the general about UV. "The ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful UV radiation. Ozone depletion, weather, and the seasons cause different amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth. The UV Index tells you how much. It predicts the next day's UV levels on a 1-11+ scale that helps you decide what to do to be safe in the sun" (italics added).

So down to the 11+ rating. "A UV Index reading of 11 or higher means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Try to avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 liberally every 2 hours" (again, italics added). The 8-10 rating doesn't include the every two hours part, so I guess that's what we were missing. I assume the UV rating was lower before, so applying when they headed out in the afternoon covered them for the rest of the day, or at least long enough it wasn't a problem. Not that I think they are saying to apply in the morning, be out all day, and you'll be fine. But when the rating is 11+, be extra cautious!

Really, am I the only one that missed this? Hopefully in sharing my stupidity I can save someone else the pain and suffering! I guess we'll be setting a timer to know when we need to sunscreen up again.

By the way, I pulled this information off, so feel free to check that out for more info.


  1. Yikes.
    Sunburns scare me.
    Just ask John about it...

    The best sunscreen I've been able to find for John and Levi is the Bananaboat spray that's SPF 50. John and Levi went riding for several hours and neither one of them got ANY sun. The guy who was with them got totally FRIED.

    It's 7 bucks, but you can't put a price on good sunscreen. It's TOTALLY worth it.

  2. I'm finally learning the "apply liberally every 2 hours" lesson myself. Even the waterproof stuff doesn't last as long as you think. My kids hate getting slathered up but I tell them they can choose between the sunscreen torture-session or the sunburn. All it takes is one real sunburn and they learn to make the right choice.

  3. I never knew about the UV rating thing before. After you mentioned it, I started using and they give the UV rating. Very helpful. Thanks!

    I put my own sunscreen on my back at the beach the other day. I ended up with a red stripe across my back where I missed. Maybe I should just go back to the t-shirt and subsequent farmer tan!