Monday, May 28, 2007

Summer Sun Protection

Now that summer is upon us (well, some days it feels like it is, and some days it feels miles away here in the NW) it is time to think about sunscreen and sun protection. The American Cancer Society recommends this motto for sun protection: Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.

For sunscreen, choose a broad spectrum that offeres both UVA and UVB protection. Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed in to the skin, and physical or mineral ones protect by forming a barrier on the skin. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide offer the best UV-spectrum coverage and are well tolerated by children. It is also the safest ingredient for the environment. You want to stay away from ingredients such as PABA, Padimate-O, or Parsol 1789 (avobenzone) because they can cause stinging or redness. Make sure to apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours if you are not in the water, every 30-40 minutes if you are. Also, don't be stingy with the amount of sunscreen you are slathering on. It is recommended to use one full ounce every time you apply. *Do not apply sunscreen to infants under the age of 6 months*

Here is a short list of sunscreens that have zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the main active ingredients, are broad spectrum, and have SPF 30 or higher:

  • All Terrain Kisdport SPF 30+

  • Badger Sunblock SPF 30+

  • Blue Lizard Australian SPF 30+

  • California Baby SPF 30+

  • Dr. Hauschka Sunscreen for Children and Sensitive Skin SPF 30

  • Earth's Best Sun Block SPF 30+

  • Jason Sunbrellas Mineral-Based Sun Block SPF 30+

  • Mustela High Protection Sun Lotion SPF 50

  • UV Natural Baby SPF 30+

In addition to sunscreen, you want to be careful about you amount of sun exposure and the timing. Dermatologists recommend staying out of the sun between 10 and 4 - I don't know about you, but for us that is not realistic. For us it is usually 12 0r 1 - 3 or so, as we need lunch and naps still. When we are out in the sun, both my kids wear wide brimmed hats that cover their neck and ears and sunglasses with UV protection. When we are in the pool or at the beach, which is a lot of the time, both kids also wear UV protective swim shirts and shorts. Lands End carries a great selection of UV and rash guard protection swimwear.

Here's wishing you a safe, happy summer, full of fun and sun!


Katie said...

This is great information! I was at Target today and saw that they also have a line of UV protectant shirt/short combos too.

Green Living Everyday said...

The new sunscreen developed by thinkbaby and thinksport LIVESTRONG sunscreen is highly effective, falls into the highest category for water resistance and has a sensible SPF 30+ rating.