Here Comes the Sun
It's May: More outdoor play means more UVs. A little sun is healthy -- it stimulates vitamin D production and boosts mood -- but it takes only one blistering sunburn to significantly increase your child's chances of skin cancer later in life.
Don't expect her daycare center or nursery or elementary school to apply sunscreen on your child -- or even let you pack it. Some even prohibit hats. If you find poor sun policies, speak up!
So it's up to you to create a sun-safe routine -- and once your child's old enough, get her involved. Even on cloudy days, apply a long-lasting, water-resistant sunscreen (SPF 15) -- ideally, half an hour before your child leaves home. (If she can do it herself, tell her to put more on when she goes outside.) Slather it on liberally: Too little can turn an SPF 30 into an SPF 8. Try about a tablespoon for your child's whole body, or follow the label. Clothes, especially those with a tight weave, also protect, as do wide-brimmed hats.
It amazes me how willingly kids take responsibility when they're encouraged. When my three kids were small, sun protection was minimal: They used sunscreen at the beach or pool only. But now it's different: My friend's daughter, for example, insists that everyone wear a hat in her backyard! And teaching your child to be sun-safe is one of the best gifts you can give her.