I'm a dad of two – my genius 'help' hack will get your kids to love wearing sun cream this summer WITHOUT any tantrums

I'm a dad of two – my genius 'help' hack will get your kids to love wearing sun cream this summer WITHOUT any tantrums

SUMMER is finally on its way, and as the sun threatens to make an appearance it can mean only one thing if you're a parent…

An absolute battle to slather sun cream on your kids' skin to protect their delicate complexions from those UV rays as they struggle from your grip to play.

It's a fight you just can't give up, and while they'll appreciate it later in life, it can feel like a thankless task.

Thankfully, there are some sneaky hacks to encourage them to think about sun safety that have been tried and tested by experts and parents alike.

Here are the best hacks to get you kids wearing their sun cream and hats, without any tantrums…

All in the application

When it comes to sun cream it's all more or less the same product, but the way in which you apply it can make a huge difference psychologically.


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Dad of two Jim Coulson, host of the Loose Dads podcast from Dadsnet, says: "A roll-on sun cream applicator has been a game changer for us.

"It’s easier than traditional methods and is less of a shock than when you suddenly spray or slap the cold cream on."

This is a method childcare expert Kathryn Lord agrees with, saying: "Having creative ways to put it on such as a make up brush or using colourful sun creams can encourage children.

"The novelty of it means they enjoy and almost look forward to having the cream put on."

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Relish the responsibility

Another key way to avoid a wrestling match is to encourage your kids to feel like it's a 'grown-up' responsibility.

Jim, whose children are now five and eight, says: "Allowing kids to take charge of applying sun cream also helps.

"It’s one of those grow-up jobs that actual grown-ups find dull, but for kids who desperately want to be older than they are, it can seem like an exciting responsibility.

"Of course, you need to be there to apply a ‘second coat’ so they don’t miss any vital areas!"

Kathryn adds: "Letting the children put the sun cream on you at the same time as putting it on them makes it’s something that everyone has rather than something that is done to them.

"Giving them a task like 'I can’t reach my neck, please can you help?' means they have a purpose."

Fash-sun choice

It may seem obvious, but getting your child to choose their own sun hat and sunglasses can help.

Jim says: "Give them some agency and allow them free reign in the shop, even if you think their favoured items are horrendous.

"Rather they wear something that’s not to your taste but is protective than you buy them a sun hat that gets thrown on the floor every five minutes, leaving their head exposed to the baking sun."

Lead by example

In other words, practice what you preach.

Jim says: "Although my grandad used to tell my dad that 'I’m a signpost, I point the way but don’t necessarily go there,' it is important to lead by example.

"If you wear your sun hat and sunglasses, your children are more likely to.

"The opposite is, unfortunately, also true."

If the cap fits

A poorly fitting pair of sunnies or hat will cause frustration, and are less likely to be put on and forgotten about.

Jim says: "If they don't fit, they’re going to continually feel discomfort or irritation and that reminds them that they are wearing it.

"A good fitting hat that doesn’t slip over their eyes or pinch or fall off (literally) at the drop of a hat can sit on their heads for hours as they enjoy the great outdoors having completely forgotten they are wearing it."

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Kathryn also has a little trick to stop tears, saying: "Putting Vaseline on their eyebrows can stop sweat and sun cream ending up stinging the eyes!

"It acts as a barrier."

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