Our best wishes for a happy and HEALTHY Father’s Day! And apropos to that, WebMD posted an excellent reminder about the need to protect young children from the sun because “the changes that lead to skin cancer may actually begin during baby’s first year, when an infant’s skin is most vulnerable to burns and sun damage, according to a new report in the July issue of Pediatrics.” So, here’s a reminder of best sun safety practices for kids…and even kids at heart:
“A child’s skin has structural quality that makes it more vulnerable to the effects of UV radiation, and this can result in an increased risk of later skin cancer,” said Roya Samuels, MD, a pediatrician at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park.
New York City dermatologist Doris Day, MD, says that “newborns, infants, and toddlers have skin that is continuing to develop…and it is really important to protect it,” she says.
However, it’s not easy to find sunscreen for infants and toddlers: “Sunscreens for infants must be non-irritating to the skin and eyes…” For both these reasons, for the first six months, infants should be covered from direct sun via clothing, hats, etc., This is also important since harmful rays can penetrate car and home windows. (Consider clear protective window coatings.)
Then, in selecting a sunscreen, with a minimum SPF of 15, many parents “may prefer that infant sunscreen leave a temporary film so they can be sure all exposed body parts are well covered. In addition, water-resistance is an important quality for infant and toddler sunscreens….” as is the need to ensure a sunscreen blocks against both UVA and UVB rays. The thicker zinc- or titanium-based products are more opaque and sit on skin more than getting absorbed. “…And zinc and titanium don’t irritate the eyes as much because they tend to stay in place.”
We shared the Environmental Working Guide’s new rating of more than 1,000 sun products in our last post. And The Daily Green culled through that list to post their selections from that list of the 13 most affordable natural kid and baby sunscreens with mineral sunblocks.
As mentioned in WebMD:
Ravinder Khaira, MD, a pediatrician with Sutter Independent Physicians in Sacramento, Calif., says that applying sunscreen — and reapplying it according to the directions — is the No. 1 way to prevent sunburn and sun damage that can lead to skin cancers when children grow up.
Take special care to cover their ears, nose, and scalp, he says.
Young children do have highly sensitive skin, so it’s a good idea to do a small patch test before slathering on a new sunscreen. “Test it on the forearm and wait about 30 to 40 minutes to see if any hives, swelling, redness, or itchiness occur,” Khaira says.
If children get sunscreen in their eyes, flush their eyes and face with cold water to minimize any irritation, he says.
It’s not always easy being a dad…or a mom. But once the kids are slathered up, you can sit back and rest. For a second.