It’s summertime and that means it is sun protection season. I know it’s not really a thing, but it kinda is for us Florida moms, right?
Summer means fun outside with bubbles, the beach, swimming in the pool, bike riding, sidewalk chalk, playing at the park, birthday parties on the big water slides…basically LOTS of time in the sun!
When we are hanging outdoors, we need to do our best to protect ourselves and our kiddos from the suns harmful rays. It goes without saying that we NEED the sun for making Vitamin D, but once we are outdoors for more than 20 minutes, the suns rays can be dangerous.
☀️ Sun Facts
- A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer.
- Infants under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible because their skin is not yet protected by melanin.
- Young children’s skin is especially sensitive to chemical allergens, as well as, the suns UV rays.
- More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the US than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by 70 years old.
- On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
- Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.
- Not all sunscreens are created equal.
When you head outdoors this summer with the kids, be sure to arm yourself with proper sun protection. Obviously sunscreen protects our skin from the harmful UVA and UVB sun rays, but we can take extra precautions too.
Top 5 tips for sun protection IN ADDITION to sunscreen:
- Check the UV Index. The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. Usually from 10a – 4p the UV Index is at its strongest.
- Wear clothing to shield your skin. Hats, shirts, and cover ups shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, and ultimately helping to reduce the burn risk factor.
- Sunglasses are an essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation.
- Plan your time outdoors around the sun. Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.
- Find shade or make some. Picnic under a tree or take a canopy to the beach.
Sun Safety tips for baby:
- Keep infants in the shade, reducing the risk of multiple burns by 30%. Umbrellas work great if you don’t have a shaded area or stroller canopy.
- Do not cover the stroller with a blanket….it creates an oven by raising the temperature and makes it hard for them to breathe.
- Cover baby with tightly woven but loose fitting protective clothing and a sun hat.
- Avoid mid-day sun. Take walks in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Follow product warnings on sunscreens for infants younger than 6 months old. (Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreen on infants.)
Sun Safety tips for kids:
- Always test sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it.
- Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply often, especially if your child is playing in the water.
- Have your kids wear rash guards, a hat and sun glasses for more protection.
Now, let’s talk sunscreen
Do you know the difference between Mineral Sunscreen and Chemical Sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreen sits on top of your skin and reflects the suns UV rays and they are typically made with safer ingredients.
Chemical sunscreen absorb UV energy and release it into the air as heat.
Sunscreen ingredients to avoid:
- Retinyl palmitate- a form of vitamin A that may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin in presence of sunlight.
- Oxybenzone or Octinoxate- a hormone disruptor that also mutates the DNA of coral reefs and is contributing to their collapse around the world.
- Parabens- hormone disruptors that can be detected in users blood and breastmilk.
Sunscreen ingredients I use and recommend:
- Broad spectrum mineral sunscreen with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide.
- They sit on the skins surface and physically bounce (or reflect) the suns rays away from the skin.
How to apply sunscreen:
- Always apply at least 15 minutes before you go out.
- Put it on your neck, ears, décolleté and the top of your hands! These areas are often neglected and the first to show signs of aging.
- Re-apply 1 ounce (a shot glass full) at least every 2 hours or after 40 minutes of water play and always after towel drying.