The ABCs of Sunscreen for Kids: What You Need to Know

Spring is here, and as the flowers bloom and leaves reappear on trees, it is also time to look forward to long days playing outside! This is also time to consider the sunscreen you’ll apply to your children.

There are many considerations when it comes to children’s sunscreen. Many studies have been done about aerosol sunscreen. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recommends against using aerosol sunscreen to reduce the chance of inhalation. This is especially important for those children who already struggle with breathing, whether due to asthma or other issues. Additionally, there is a concern about Benzene being in spray sunscreens (and other products, such as deodorants and dry shampoos), which is a known carcinogen attributed to causing cancer.

When it comes to lotions, there are other things to consider. Again, CHOP recommends a sunscreen of 30-60 SPF as the most effective and should be applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun. Infants 6 months and younger should have sunscreen used sparingly and only if they cannot avoid direct contact with the sun.

Oxybenzone is a chemical found in many sunscreens associated with lower testosterone in adolescent boys and has also been found in breast milk. The chemicals oxybenzone, as well as octinoxate used to make certain sunscreens, have been banned in Hawaii, Key West, and the US Virgin Islands due to their harmful impacts on the coral reef.

So, what should you use? A great place to start is This website will give you a rating of 1-10 for nearly every consumer product, from skin products to household cleaners. The website will explain why each rating is given, toxins to watch for, or other reasons items are not recommended (such as the impact on the coral reef) but also have great coverage and protection for tender skin.

Here at Learning Ladder Academy, we remind you that we do not use spray sunscreen. Families need to complete a medication log for us to apply it, and we are only permitted to apply the sunscreen you provide for your child.

We hope all of our families have a fun and safe summertime!

Skip to content