Step into summer with tips for family fun in the sun

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2012

(ARA) – Summer days do not have to be lazy. Children may be used to action-packed schedules in school, but by stepping up their planning, families can enjoy outdoor activities that are engaging and help keep children active. Whether camping or simply exploring the park down the street, it’s important to plan ahead for summer fun, especially when it comes to sun protection.

Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and mother of two, says family routines do not have to be complicated. Simple things such as hiking and bike-riding are among her family’s favorite summertime activities, and she does everything she can to keep her family healthy in the process. “I always encourage my family to be active outdoors as part of a healthy lifestyle, even if it’s just a quick walk around the neighborhood or an impromptu scavenger hunt in the backyard. No matter what activity we are doing, practicing sun safety habits is a must,” explains Sweeney.

Having long been an advocate for daily sun protection, Sweeney has four practical tips for families as they gear up for outdoor fun this summer:

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* Develop a sun-safe program for your family. Just like brushing your teeth before you go to bed, it’s important to teach your children to practice the proper sun safety habits before heading outside for some time in the sun. Any good routine includes the use of essentials such as broad spectrum sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

* Choose the right sunscreen for your activities. If you plan on engaging in intense outdoor activities that will make you sweat a lot such as rock-climbing or hiking, try Coppertone Sport Pro Series. These lightweight formulas stay on strong, but also allow your skin to breathe while keeping it hydrated. “It’s so important to find a sunscreen that can keep up with the activities you have planned for the day. I love to use Coppertone Sport Pro Series during long bike rides because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight or greasy,” says Sweeney.

* Time flies when you are enjoying the outdoors, but be sure you are making time to reapply sunscreen. Look for some new sun protection options that help simplify reapplication so that you can get back to having fun with your family more easily. “I make sure we reapply every two hours or after towel drying, swimming or sweating,” says Sweeney. “My children love to be in the water, which is why I use Coppertone Wet ‘n Clear Kids. It cuts through water on wet skin and sprays on clear, so you don’t even need to towel dry the kids before reapplying.”

* Know when to break. It’s important to take breaks and get out of the sun for a while, especially on hot days and between the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When it’s time to grab a snack with the family, find some shade and relax before heading back to play.

For more summertime fun, Coppertone is teaming up with Alison Sweeney to help find the next Little Miss Coppertone through a nationwide search on Facebook. Parents and guardians can enter photos of their little girls between the ages of two and seven who personify our iconic girl seen on the brand’s sunscreen bottles since 1953. For complete contest details, including official rules, visit