Summer has finally arrived, so our children need to be protected from the sun. However, choosing a safe sunscreen might turn out to be a difficult task.
Experts advise parents to adopt the entire sun protection package to protect their kids from the dangerous UV rays. As the market has a various range of sunscreen products, not all of them are safe, healthy and efficient against the sun.
Therefore, scientists from the Environmental Working Group have released an annual guide containing accurate information about sun protection.
According to Jack Maypole, a pediatrician for medically complex children at Boston Medical Center, the range of recommended SPF is 30-50. Parents should be aware of anything higher than SPF 50 as it might turn out to be dangerous.
Furthermore, there are several ingredients that we should avoid, such as retinal palmitate, which might worsen the sun damage, and oxybenzone, which is a hormone disruptor. Plus, CDC recommends parents to stay away from sunscreens containing nanoparticles, as their effect on children is not known yet.
It is worth mentioning that lotions are better than sprays, because if you use a spray, there is a high risk for your children to inhale dangerous ingredients. Plus, sprays hardly cover the entire skin area, whereas sunscreen creams and lotions cover the body better and are less likely to be absorbed by the skin.
On the other hand, the ingredients that we should be looking for are metal oxides, such as zinc or titanium, which are regarded as the safest. However, sunscreens containing them might be a little expensive.
In addition to this, the best sunscreens have a “multi-spectrum” or “broad spectrum” label, meaning that they offer protection against UVB and UVA rays. Experts advise parents to reapply sunscreens every two hours, after excessive sweating and swimming. Plus, regardless of what is written on the products label, no sunscreen resists after bathing and sweating.
Moreover, sunscreen is recommended only for children six months or older. In addition to this, scientists advise parents first to apply a small amount on the child’s wrist one day before going to the beach, to check if your kid’s skin is sensitive to chemical allergens. If a rash or irritation develops, ask the doctor for a safe sunscreen recommendation.
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