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Kids & Sunscreen

on April 18, 2012

I am not gonna lie, I panic about the sun.  On Monday, when I realized it was in the 80’s and the kids wanted to play outside, I ran out to buy some sunscreen and slathered it on them until they were a milky shade of white.  Although I did have some leftover from last summer, I’ve read information stating that they can lose their effectiveness after one year, so I never take the risk. I have heard enough horror stories of blistered children that I try to keep my kids protected at all times, probably too protected.  But on the flip side, I’ve also read about some of the harmful chemicals that used in sunscreens, so I seek out those with the least amount of chemicals.   In the winter, I use a daily moisturizer with light protection.  I have found that California Baby’s Lotion with SPF 18 works great for my kids, however, Katie uses an actual sunscreen year round for her girls who both have fair and sensitive skin. She uses  Blue Lizard and loves it as it is the only sunscreen that doesn’t cause a reaction in her girls.   In the summer, I use either Badger  or California Baby‘s SPF 30+, all of these are  are listed in the Environmental Working Group’s list of safest sunscreens.

During beach and pool days, I trade in the cute swimsuits for those one pieces with SPF 50 so that I only have to put sunscreen on the exposed parts of their body.   Considering that you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and even more often if they are playing in the water, this saves me lots of sunscreen and gives me peace of mind.  Here’s an example of a few types of protective swim wear.  I am also a military sergeant when it comes to hats insisting they wear then at all times!  While it may be early in the season to talk about beach days, the unseasonably warm weather this week reminded me of the constant battle I have with my kids and the sun.

Here are some tips to help you provide the best protection for your family:

– Apply sunscreen before your kids get outside and reapply every two hours at a minimum

– Most sun damage occurs before age 18, so keeping your kids protected from both UVA and UVB rays is critical for healthy skin

– Use SPF of at least 30-50, anything greater than 50 is misleading

– Avoid sunscreens with Vitamin A as it can cause damage to skin in the presence of sun

Sources:

http://thegreengirls.com/blog/post/2010/06/Greener-sunscreens-that-wone28099t-leave-you-red.aspx

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/

 

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