As mentioned above, it’s best to visit the beach early in the morning or at dusk when the sun’s rays are less intense. It’s not uncommon for the UV Index to be 8 or higher in North Carolina in the summer months. This means that you are at a very high risk of sunburn and if unprotected skin and eye damage can occur within 15-minutes. Try to limit your time in the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, and if that’s not possible diligently (and frequently) apply sunscreen, lip balm, and use umbrellas or tents for shade. It’s recommended to apply sunscreen before you even step foot on the beach, either before leaving your house or once you park. Walking to the beach and setting up your site can often take longer than 15-minutes and by then someone could already be burned!
Keep in mind that no sunscreens are truly waterproof, and thus they need to be reapplied every one and a half to two hours, particularly if a baby goes into the water. [1}
**Pro-tip: Set a timer on your phone to remind you when it’s time to re-apply.
I also highly recommend brightly colored rashguards for both boys and girls. Rashguards offer a second layer of protection from the sun, and if you chose a bright color it will make it easier to spot your child in the water. Many of them even come with a built-in SPF!
In addition to consistent sunscreen application and rashguards, provide your children with other protective gear including sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat