How to Protect Children's Skin While Skiing

Children need to be especially careful when on a ski trip to the mountains. They are at a much higher altitude, and closer to the intense rays of the sun. The snow also reflects the damaging rays of the sun.

Eighty percent of lifetime sun exposure occurs before children turn 18. Dr. Sandra Eivins, a dermatolost in Steamboat says, "Kids' skin is more sensitive. It's thinner. It doesn't have the oil gland protection that adults do until kids hit puberty."

More Than Just Sunscreen

Dr. Eivins says sunscreens help but don't always solve the problem. "Kids really should be covered and not just rely on sunscreen." Buy your child a brightly colored neck gaiter to wear. Make sure they have goggles which protect their face and eyes from getting burned.

Sunscreen always helps. Zinc oxide is a good option for a chemical-free sunscreen which is less likely to cause irritation to sensitive skin. But be careful when applying it to especially small children as they can rub their eyes and it can get in their eyes and irritate.

If you do use a sunscreen, make sure it has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Children under six months of age should not use sunscreens, as parents should avoid prolonged sun exposure for them all together.

Dry Skin

It is also important to protect you children's skin from the damage of low humidity, and dry weather conditions. A product often recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians is Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Mothers find it works well on themselves and their little ones.

Aquaphor is used to protect children's sensitive skin from everyday irritations caused by dry, cold weather and frequent hand washing. It comes in several forms, but skiing parents can pick up a 1.75 ounce tube and drop it into a parka pocket.

Courtesy of, the world's most visited snow sports Web site, providing ski and snow reports and news of more than 2,000 resorts.

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