Six tips for protecting your kids from the sun in Myrtle Beach

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Too much of a good thing can be bad. Such is the case for summer fun in the Myrtle Beach sun.

Summertime is upon us, and that means painful sunburns and peeling skin … but it doesn't have to. Not only is the sun closer and stronger during the summer months, but being around the water, whether in the ocean or the hotel pool, reflects and intensifies the more harmful rays.

Protecting yourself and your children from the sun without sounding like the fun police can be a bit of a trick, but not if you follow these simple tips to a great but safe family summer in Myrtle Beach:

* Sunscreen is as important to pack for your Myrtle Beach vacation as swimsuits and flip-flops. Children's skin is more sensitive than adults and requires maximum protection. Experts suggest 30 SPF for adults and 50 SPF for children, and even higher if your skin tone is prone to burn.

* Waterproof sunscreen is very important, but also not 100 percent waterproof. Although it does tend to stick to the skin longer than regular sunscreen, even waterproof loses effectiveness on kids who are sweating or jumping in an out of the pool. The best policy is to reapply hourly.

* Even parents with the best intentions can miss some of the most obvious spots to apply sunscreen. Classic oversights include the ears, behind the neck, and the tops of feet. Also overlooked is the importance of protective lip balm and sunglasses to block out UV rays.

* Take frequent timeouts from the sun. Enjoy a snack under the shade of an umbrella, or sit under the cover of the hotel snack bar. Not only will this give your loved ones a much-needed break from direct sunlight but it also will help your kids stay hydrated in the summer heat.

* Aftercare can be as important as prevention. No matter how hard you try, someone in your group is sure to miss a spot or two and end up with a burn. Keep an eye out for signs of redness, and treat your kids to a soothing aloe-based lotion rubdown before bedtime.

(posted 5/27/14)