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“My Wife and I Disagree Over Whether or Not It’s Necessary to Put Sunscreen on Toddler Daughter”

sunscreen on toddlers

We’ll be the first ones to agree that applying sunscreen isn’t always the most comfortable experience, and toddlers and children may sometimes be resistant to it. But is it necessary in order to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays? We believe so, yes, and so does a concerned father who has had to put his foot down with his wife and insist that she starts applying it to their 2-year-old daughters’ skin before they go outside.

My (35M) wife (31F) and I have one daughter (2F). I work full time while my wife is a SAHM. Lately, I realized that my wife does not put sunscreen on our daughter when she takes her outside. Like, ever. The only time that she puts sunscreen on her is if she is going to the pool, and only if it is mid afternoon. My wife reasons that “she (our daughter) stays in the shade most of the time, so she doesn’t need it.” This is regardless of the time of day, the weather, the temperature, anything. Our daughter has a VERY light complexion.

I have recently put my foot down and told her that our daughter needs sunscreen on anytime she goes outside. If it is 8 AM or 7 PM sure its not nearly as big of a deal, but for sure if she’s going out between 11 AM and 5 PM its a big deal that she has sunscreen on. My wife is mad because it is so difficult to put sunscreen on our daughter because she hates having it put on, and if she has to put sunscreen on every day, my wife will also have to bathe her every day. She says that if I want sunscreen on her during the day, that I can put it on and bathe her every day.

I have no problem helping out, I do it all of the time. But I literally can’t put sunscreen on her every day when she goes out…I’m working. I know that having kids wear sunscreen is super important, I just feel like I’m going crazy. AITAH for demanding that our daughter wear sunscreen when she goes outside?

EDIT: I just want to be clear, we bathe our child. She’s not going a week without bathing or being put to bed after running around outside all day. We just try not to bathe her every day if possible, as she often gets rashes if we do. If she has gotten in a pool or put something on her skin that she would want to wash off, or just generally anything that would make her dirty, we bathe her.

Unsurprisingly, the comments section was full of people who shared their own experiences with skin cancer and urged him to make the wearing of sunscreen a non-negotiable for his child.

 

I got skin cancer in my 30s (now in my 40s) after spending lots of time getting fried to a crisp when i was younger (consequences, meet actions). They were able to treat it, but now I have a giant ugly scar from the Mohs surgery (look it up, it’s fun /s) on a frequently visible part of my body; better than having cancer, I suppose, but it still sucks and I’m at a higher risk now for it to come back at some point (yay). I’m also doomed to religiously visit the dermatologist every year for the rest of my life, not just when there’s a weird blotch or a mole I’m suspicious of.

Put the damn sunblock on, for godssakes. (Over_Doughnut_5985)

Some people suggested that with regular application his toddler daughter will get used to it, and will become less of an issue/struggle for her mum.

Hell, I got it in my 30s even with diligently being sunscreened as a kid and being an indoor and in the shade person. It’s so so important to take any and all precautions.

Even if she doesn’t like having sunscreen put on. If you were doing it every day she would be used to it and it probably wouldn’t phase her. All my cousins kids have been getting subscreened since they were babies and it’s usually not a big deal. If it’s the texture, there are lots of different types of sunscreens and you could try a different type to see if that helps. OP, your worries are totally valid and I’m confused why your wife is so blase about this just because she doesn’t want to give daughter a wipe down at the end of the day. (CloverLeafe)

If his wife continued to disregard his concerns over sunscreen, some commenters suggested bringing up the topic with a medical professional, with the hope that she couldn’t dismiss it if it came from a Doctor.

The child’s pediatrician would definitely agree to use sunscreen every day. Maybe your wife would be convinced if the advice comes from “the expert.” (PreparationScared)

 

NTA. I work for a dermatologist. Most sun damage occurs when we’re children/teens. Not always as adults. Tell her you don’t want your child getting melanoma. And yes children CAN get it.

Remind her she is the adult and your child is the child. Doesn’t matter if she doesn’t want it on, she needs it or they don’t go outside.

If she still refuses on sunscreen, try buying your child sun clothes and hats. While your child should still have sunscreen on, this will help to protect the covered parts. (throwitaway3857)

However, other people related to hating the feeling of sunscreen on their skin and offered some helpful, alternative solutions.

NTA, but also hated applying sunscreen to my kids. And if they touched their skin and then they touched their eye, the tears! So I opted for sun hats, sun shirts, they even make a detergent that deposits some sun protection on regular clothes. I’d use one other gel formula face sticks for their faces. So she has options, cause not 1 thing works for everyone. (Abject_Director7626)

Also a super light complexion and hated having sunscreen put on when I was a kid.  You’re not wrong, but your wife’s frustration is still understandable.  Some things that might help:

    1. Spray on sunscreen.  Yes, it still has to be rubbed in, but it tends to be a quicker and easier process.  Also tends to be less greasy than lotion type sunscreens.  If kiddo likes imitating mom, she can pretend that it’s perfume/body spray to help make the process easier.
    2. Sun protection via clothing, hats, and umbrellas/sun tents.  Especially if kiddo is the sort to set up and play in one area, you can avoid sunscreen on anything other than face and hands (or even skip that if she genuinely stays under the full shade).
    3. Baby/makeup wipes.  They’ll take 90% of the sunscreen off and you can get the rest with a wet washcloth.  You’ll still need to do baths more often, but it reduces the need to do one every day.
    4. Japanese or Korean sunscreens.  The quality, finish, scent, etc are all much nicer.  If kiddo still isn’t a fan of the spray sunscreen, see if she’s more OK with one of these.  I’d personally recommend the Biore UV Aqua Rich (and you can try that one in a spray too!) or the CosRx Aloe Sun Cream.  You can also try a sun stick from a brand like Isntree.
    5. Help teach kiddo to put sunscreen on herself.  A teacher at my Montessori was the one who had the best luck with me because we made up a song about it and she sang it with me while I put on my sunscreen myself.  She would just swoop in with a couple dollops for my nose, ears, and back of my neck right at the end. (LongPhotograph49)

What do you think? Do you always ensure your children wear sunscreen?

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Jolene

Jolene

Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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