Every year, I struggle with sunscreen for my 4-year old. Which brands are the safest for children? What are these chemicals? How much should I put on? Should it be an every-morning summer ritual or only as-needed.

Last summer I chose a natural sunscreen formulated especially for children and then I read a report from a group that researches product safety that my choice was one of the worst. Enter mom-guilt. Last year the cheap convenience store brand would have been a better choice.

So, this year I am doing research and I’ll share it with you!

But first. Don’t let using sunscreen fool you into thinking it is OK to be pool-side all day. No sunscreen works that hard, even if you keep reapplying it. Use hats, bathing suits that cover your children’s skin as much as possible, and get them out of the sun for lunch or other breaks during the sun’s peak intensity hours from 12-2p.

Here are 9 Surprising Facts About Sunscreen. The most surprising – and frightening – fact is that there’s no proof that sunscreens prevent most types of skin cancers. I am also not happy that there are compelling reasons to avoid the spray-ons. I am not surprised that sunscreen towelettes are not advisable because it is too easy to miss areas or not apply enough sunscreen. And I have heard it before but there is no more protection from anything higher than SPF 50 (and yet I still bought SPF70 last week. The reminder is a good one.)

Here is the comparison table of the best sport and sunscreens. It is worth noting that CVS Baby Sun Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 50 rates just as well on the hazard scale as many of the far more expensive brands.

Since the information is presented in the most annoying table which forces you to click on each and every sunscreen name to get the data and prevents head-to-head comparison, here are a few of most readily available brands that offer a #1 rated sunscreen. Note, not all of the products from each brand listed below is rated #1, so review the website to see which ones are the best.

  • All Terrain
  • Ava Anderson NonToxic
  • Beauty Without Cruelty
  • Burt’s Bees
  • California Baby
  • Kiss My Face
  • TruKid
  • UV Natural

Safe fun in the sun everyone!