good day sunshine...with sunscreen.

Amy - posted on 03/08/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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Summer is coming soon here. Some moms slather on the sunscreen and some don't put a drop on. We don't want our kids burned, but with all the research on Vitamin D from the sun and that it keeps you healthy should we be putting so much sunscreen on? Just limiting the time outside perhaps so they don't get burned while still getting that D. Vitamin D is being researched about it's reducing your chances of getting cancer.....so is the sun bad or good? They say skin cancer is overexposure to the sun, yet we all need to be in the sun. What will you do with your little ones in the summer? What do you do for yourselves?

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LaCi - posted on 04/12/2010

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Tan skin being damaged skin isn't entirely correct. Melanin will darken with mild exposure to the sun, at the point in which your skin is damaged you cells are producing more melanin. Until you trigger more melanin production it isn't actually damaging your skin, but existing melanin can still darken.

Sunscreen only blocks out UVB which is more likely to cause skin cancer in general, but SPF ratings do not apply to UVA which are more likely to cause melanoma than UVB. Sunblock keeps out both, but sure is gross and pore clogging and usually contains titanium dioxide which is believed to be carcinogenic-(but more testing needs to be done) Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Lady - posted on 03/08/2010

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Sometimes it amazes me as a human race we have survived this long - I undestand the reaserch and that's why I do use sunscreen on my children but the body is designed to survive and one of our natural survival methods is to adapt to our surroundings that's why Africans are black - the melanin in our skin changes to protect us from harmful sun rays. I do not agree with sitting out in the sun - sunbathing and trying to get brown - my SIL does this and looks terribly old and as if she has been left on the bar-be-que for too long but I really believe letting the skin have some exposure to sun at a responsable time of day and for a limited amount of time is good for it.

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Emma - posted on 04/12/2010

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the sun suites are great as you don't have to apply sunblock to the whole kid as the suit itself has sun protection built in, they come in lodes of colours and styles my kids ones are from knee all the way up and down to the elbows and are there swimming costumes too. they are made by second skin can highly recommend ive used them since my kids where really small and neater have ever been burnt

Krista - posted on 04/12/2010

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The amount of time needed in the sun to get the right amount of vitamin D is approximately 15 minutes. During the high point of the day, it takes less than that to burn and possibly get harmful reactions to the sun.

I think that allowing your child out in the morning and later on in the day for a few minutes without sunscreen is acceptable.

I know that I will NOT be keeping my son (and daughter when she's born in July) inside for the entire summer. My son adores being outside. Who am I to stop him? So, I will slather on the screen and watch him play with abandon.

Nikki - posted on 04/11/2010

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I don't go in the sun, I hate it, ironically I live in the sunniest state in Australia! I would burn within minutes even with sunscreen on, even when it is cloudy. I always wear sunscreen on my face and hands, other than that I wear long sleeve shirts, pants and hats, I'm a big slip slop slap sun safety nerd! I have never had a tan, nor have I ever been sun burnt. I take multi vitamins, my milk has Vitamin D so I am all set! I will protect my daughter in the same way, and try and keep her out of direct sunlight.

Emma - posted on 04/11/2010

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I learn my sunblock lesson well im really pale and once got sunstroke in the rain fully clothed in the UK lol i was laid up for a week as could barley move and was sick as a dog,
I can feel myself burning so im always covered in sun block, thankfully my kids have there dads skin tone but they will only get there 15 mins first thing in the morning than its sun-suites hat's and sunblock,
they live out side as we have good weather most of the year

[deleted account]

I use sun screan on my son only because he's very pale (Casper the ghost has more colour than this poor kid) but I don't lather it on and I don't reapply once it's worn off unless I think he needs it. And I don't use it unless it's really hot out. Myself, I don't use sun screen at all. I'm also one of the lucky ones who's never had a burn, either.

C. - posted on 04/11/2010

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It's both! Too much exposure to the sun w/o any protection can lead to damage underneath the surface and that can still cause skin cancer. Just b/c it isn't visible, doesn't mean it isn't there.

On the other hand, the sun is the best source of Vitamin D that you can get.

No such thing as a good tan or healthy tan.. And it does not protect against other skin damage. Tan skin is already damaged skin (if that's not your natural skin color).

With my son having my pale skin, you bet I'm going to be putting a ton of sunscreen on him when he goes out. I have had too much sun-poisoning in my short life- And I USE sunscreen and reapply more often than recommended! My husband is part Italian, so he's naturally a little bit darker than me. I'm part Irish, Scandinavian, British, Scottish.. You name it, I'm it, so I have very pale skin. I was destined to be a whitey :) My poor son had to take after me instead of his daddy..

Amanda - posted on 04/11/2010

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I use sunscreen on myself and my son every time we go outside for more than a few minutes.. usually we go to the park for like 3 hours a day or to the zoo or the aquarium. My son is almost 3, so it's impossible to get him to want to come inside after like fifteen minutes lol, and I don't want him being another kid that's obsessed with computer/video games like pretty much every other kid nowadays lol. We use coppertone either the water babies, 50 spf.. or i just bought a 70 spf... I had forgot the other day to rub it on my chest and back(remembered my arms though lol) and got a wicked bad sunburn on both spots and am still peeling a week later... and i dont burn easy lol so i will definately be putting it on all summer long, i'd rather not have to keep my son indoors when its gorgeous out for like 5 days in a row cuz mommy was a moron haha. he gets to be a lot to handle when that happens... esp. since we barely went out during the winter..

Ashley - posted on 04/11/2010

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Sunscreen will be used in my house. I have family members with skin cancer (CA natives) and that is enough for me. Something I learned from my dermatologist...no one is born with freckles, they are all from sun damage. Sun is essential, but burning your skin is not.

LaCi - posted on 04/11/2010

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If we're going to be out in direct sunlight for an extremely long period of time (Zoo, larger parks, etc) I will put sunscreen on my kid. If we're going out for shorter amounts of time I don't bother, and I never use it myself. I never burn although I am the palest I've ever been in my life (so much so that the palest make up shades seem too dark, lol, can't wait for the sun to come back 2 years in the dark is long enough..) but I seriously doubt it will cause me to burn. He has his father's fair-ness and his daddy burns often, so I watch him. I've always been in the sun, I was darker skinned at birth, it never really phased me. I'm somewhat concerned about aging, but really I think 25 years of harsh sun exposure is a little late to worry about the sunscreen, I'll deal with wrinkles as they come. I'm not terribly worried about skin cancer, not for ME at least, I do take some precautions with him.

Emma - posted on 04/11/2010

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You only need 15 mins in the sun to get your daily requirement of vitamin D after that i put my kids in there SPF 50 sun suites, with sunblock on there bits that are not covered.
SA sun is harsh....................

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I use Aveeno Positively Ageless SPF 70 on our entire family. I know SPF's above 30 are redundant and do not affect the sun's rays, but it's the only one I have found that does not irritate my son's face. My sister got her first melanoma at age 16, and has had 8 removed since (she is now 27) and is on a maintenance chemo treatment. She was never the type to sit in the sun and try to get brown, but she played outside a lot and frequently forgot her sunscreen. So I am adamant about it. I do allow my son to be outside before 8am and after 8pm in the summer without sunscreen. In the winter I'm a little more lenient because the days are so much shorter, but if we go out between 11am and 5pm he will be slathered. As for me, I put it on every morning before I put my make up on & reapply after my mid day shower.

Charlene - posted on 03/09/2010

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I am incredibly fair skinned. Fifteen minutes in the sun when the Uv index is low and I get burnt. I have to wear Spf 65 and re-apply it every hour and a half or else I am burnt. I have had multiple third degree sunburns even though I was wearing sunscreen. I go through about 15 bottles of sunscreen every summer, depending on how much I am outside.

My daughter will be wearing sunscreen every time we go outside this summer, unless we are just going from the house to the car or something. She seems to have my colouring, but hopefully I am wrong. Her father has a darker complexion and rarely gets burnt, so I'm hoping she actually takes after him.



In order to get my Vitamin D intake from the sun, I go out for 5-10 minutes in the early morning sun and 5-10 minutes in the evening sun. That's all it really takes.

Rosie - posted on 03/08/2010

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i use sunscreen when we go to the pool, or when we're playing outside for awhile, but other than that i don't put it on my kids on a daily basis.

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Our family is very WHITE and we have been affected by skin cancer. Slather it on! If we are just running outside for a few minutes, then no. But if we are going to the zoo, going swimming or will be outside for longer than 20 minutes, yes!

Jocelyn - posted on 03/08/2010

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I am the palest person I know lol. I will burn in under 10 minutes. I wear spf 45 (or higher) if I am going to be out in the sun for longer than a few minutes. Whenever I put sunscreen on I put it on my son as well, but a lower spf (about 30) because he has his fathe'rs skin, and doesn't react to the sun the same way. My daughter has my skin, so she will be slathered with spf as soon as she is old enough.
The Sun IS good for you, but you will still get enough sun exposure (vit D and such) between applications of spf ^_^

[deleted account]

Some sun is a good thing, sun burn or excessive exposure to heat is bad. Sun hats and sunscreen are a must if we go out and it's sunny. We try to stay in shade during the hottest parts of the day because we live in a southern state. Common sense goes a long way and I get really annoyed when I see kids turning red and the parents are making no effort to do something about it.

Amy - posted on 03/08/2010

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jodi - i do like the chemical free sunscreen - that's what i said i used instead of other sunscreens. my mom owns a health food store. i order mine through her whenever i need it. they are starting to carry some at general stores now too.

Jackie - posted on 03/08/2010

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once the spring/summer weather rolls around and we start spending any time at all outside we go back to sunscreen being part of the morning get dressed routine. My daughter wears a 30spf (research says higher than that is redundant) at all times, and I reapply it often. She still gets sun, she gets plenty of sun b/c we play outside as often as possible....but I protect her skin while doing it and she is still getting the benefits of the sun.

[deleted account]

It depends on time of day and how long they'll be out whether or not we use sunscreen.



I agree that there is no such thing as a 'healthy' tan, but all my kids are tan. They have skin like their father that tans super easy. I just burn.

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we live in Kansas where winters and summers get very extreme at both ends, I usually don't worry about sun screen on my daughter except her face if she is just playing out side in her usual clothes but if she is swimming then I out it everywhere...

Amanda - posted on 03/08/2010

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Actually Jodi my children only take 10 minutes to burn in summer sun, so no they can not be lefted directly exposed for 1/2 an hour. It doesnt matter what time of the day, or season, or weather, because the UV Rays are what cause skin cancer, not direct sun light. As for Vit D needed for the day, you get vit D being in your home, with the blinds opened. Also being fully clothed to prevent sunburns does not mean you arent getting your Vit D intake, the hands, and face will do the job just fine (never mind the fact that summer clothes are very thin and allow sun to hit the body). There are plenty of foods that also have Vit D in them, Milk, Eggs, Fish, Cod Oil.

[deleted account]

In the Summer if it's very sunny (not necessarily warm) (doesn't happen very often in the North East of England lol), I'll make sure my son wears a hat, sunscreen and if possible stays out of direct sun at the hottest times of the day. I usually wear suncream but made the mistake last year of going to an airshow with none on - it was sooo cloudy but I ended up with bad sunburn which turned into blisters! It just goes to show it doesn't have to be particularly hot for the sun to burn you.

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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Amy, there are plenty of chemical free sunscreens out there, and if you use one that is zinc based, it doesn't absorb into the skin, so it isn't an issue. I use natural sunscreens too. They are quite readily available.

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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I hate this view that a tan is healthy. It just promotes young people getting out to get a tan, or going to the solarium to get a quick tan.....there is nothing healthy about a tan, and I think the alternative view is promoting an unhealthy attitude. It's similar to promoting the view that thin is beautiful, but thing *can* kill you. But that's a whole other debate :) Just trying to make my point that there is nothing wrong with not having a tan, and we should be promoting this message to our children.



Sure, you can claim Australia has a problem, but this hasn't always been a problem here either. It will be a worldwide problem. No, the sun isn't closer to the earth. But the hole in the ozone layer is bigger, and it is letting in larger amounts of UV light than ever before. Just because your Grandpa didn't get skin cancer doesn't mean this won't affect your family in the future because of the changes in the atmosphere.



I am not saying small amounts of sunshine are not ok, because I am an advocate of letting the kids run around without sunblock at certain times of day, but I just think it is ignorant to believe that tans are healthy. It does NOT protect the skin to get a tan. It is a myth!!!!! By deliberately trying to get a tan, no matter how gradually, you are gradually damaging the skin. You can't avoid sun damage to the skin - it happens to everyone, and you have to find a healthy balance. But to believe the tan protects you is a myth.

Lady - posted on 03/08/2010

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It's imposable to get sun exposure with out getting a tan even just a light one even in the UK lol.
Yes I think deffinatley stay out of the sun at the hottest times but the body is designed to adapt - it's not always because it's been damaged - if it hapeened all in one day ie one day your whilte then the next your brown then yes that is damage, but over time everyones skin will get darker if exposed to the sun and that is a natural way of it protecting itself.
I think in austalia as you have had so many cases of skin cancer - probably caused by all the Brits emigrating over and acting stupid - that you are very aware of the risks of the sun and probably if we do manage to emigrate over ther as we're hoping to do I'll be covering my children up a lot more than I do living here, but i still won't want them being completley white.

Amy - posted on 03/08/2010

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i think we've done fine for thousands of years and skin cancer wasn't really around to my knowledge. Did the sun get closer? hm... i just don't know what to think on this. My dad was on the farm and outside sun up to sun down. no skin cancer. was hardly ever sick. same thing with grandpa. my mom's from california. outside ALL the time. still no skin cancer. no one they knew had skin cancer either. makes me wonder. while i do'nt sit out in the sun -i'm white. i'll burn, peel and white again - i still am out with the garden, the kids, daily walks to the post office...we rarely use sunscreen. i just make sure we aren't out long. if we will be, i will use it for them - but one from our health food store that i know is chemical free. Especially when i see all these depression commercials on tv, i'm going...what? why are so many people depressed? maybe we're overdoing the spf thing and blocking the "happy vitamin" D. how many people even go outside to play anymore? it's tv, computer, video games. kinda scary. i think the sun is good - like all things in moderation. but sunscreen is rarely used for us. i don't think i've put sunscreen on myself in years.

http://www.skinbiology.com/toxicsunscree...

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-defi...

[deleted account]

Well Gillian and I dont live in hotter climates we live in rainy UK lol where we only get three days of sunshine the whole summer if we are lucky

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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Gillian, while I agree that exposure to sun without sunscreen for limited times is a good thing, a tan means that there has been *too much* exposure. A tan equals damaged skin. You can have suficient exposure for Vitamin D without damaging your skin or needing to get a tan.

Not having studied it too closely, I can't say what native Africans did in days gone by, but I am willing to bet a part of their culture was also to stay indoors and stay cool during the hottest parts of the day and only expose themselves in the coolest hours :) That is absolutely what we should be following, and being white, we should be even more careful when we live in hotter climates (like I do).

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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Amanda, you can safely leave your kids uncovered for short periods without it becoming too big an issue. There is such a thing as a healthy balance. Leaving them in the sunshine first thing in the morning, or late in the evening, or in the middle of winter for 1/2 hour is NOT going to trigger skin cancer.



The reason I encourage balance is because the daily requirement for Vitamin D cannot be gained from any other source other than sunshine or popping pills. There really isn't any harm in allowing SOME sunshine without sunscreen for your children. Covering up 24/7, 365 days a year is going to the extreme.

[deleted account]

Well i only put sun cream on the kids if its really hot or if we are at the beach etc. I dont think they need it all the time. In the Uk it spends so much of our summer raining the kids need to feel the sun when they can. In this country it seems to be suntan beds are causing more skin cancer than the sun anyway. I also never take the kids out at midday when we go to the beach its normally at about two or three when the sun is cooling down because my middle boy gets sunstroke easily.

Amanda - posted on 03/08/2010

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There is no such thing as a healthy tan. A tan is literally cooked skin. Also you do not need to burn to get skin cancer, any tan will cause it. If you are scared of the chemicals in sunscreen then put on more clothes, there are plenty of summer clothes that cover the whole childs/adults body. Also sunscreen (cover ups) should be woren all year around. People think that the only dangerous sun is summer sun, but that couldnt be farther from the truth, I put sunscreen on my childrens faces if we are going out for the day during the winter also. Heat does not equal tans, you can get burnt during a fully over cast day, or even in the middle of winter.

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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Quoting Gillian



a little colour on children is important - a tan is like a natural sun screen




Gillian, this is actually a myth. The Australian Department of Health advises that "any form of a tan which has been obtained from exposure to UVR (from natural or artificial sources) increases your chances of premature ageing and developing skin cancer. People with naturally tanned or darker skin have very limited protection to UVR (roughly equivalent to SPF2 sunscreen) and will still need to protect their skin when going outdoors."



There is no such thing as a healthy tan......unless it came from a bottle.

Lady - posted on 03/08/2010

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It's so funny I was thinking of starting this exact same topic the other day - must because I finally saw the sun for the first time in a while.



I do use sun screen on my kids especially when they are babies but I try not to use such a high factor on them, and if they are only going to be out for a short time then I don't bother. I think it's important to expose their skin to the sun a little - never ever until they get burned but I think a little colour on children is important - a tan is like a natural sun screen, the whiter you are the quicker you burn and it is very important for them to get their dose of vitamin D.

When we lived in Florida I was more careful about making sure they were covered before going out at first - but that was because of their pale UK skin, after we had been there a while I started to put on a lower factor and let them tan - now back in the UK my oldest son never burns even if he had been out without sunscreen on.

Jodi - posted on 03/08/2010

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Personally, I believe in allowing a little sunshine for my kids because it is the best source of Vitamin D. However, reasearch also shows that you only need about 20 minutes a day to receive adequate Vitamin D.



On the other hand, there are also studies (and I will try and locate them later, I am too tired now - it is bedtime here, LOL), that indicate the chemicals in many sunscreens are actually causing cancer too, so you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.



I live in Australia, which has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. My father had melanoma when he was only 42, and he was careful with his skin (he is fine, it was caught early). I have very fair skin and am careful. My step son is a red head, and has the skin to go with it. So believe me, I am cautious. But I let them out without sunscreen at certain times.



But, all my kids wear hats. They wear rash vests when they are swimming in the summer. They wear sunblock slathered on them in the summer if they are outside playing in the middle of the day. But I do pick and choose when sunblock is necessary. If they are only out for 5 minutes, that's fine. But we try to stay indoors on the really hot days anyway.



Having said that, however, I actually got sunburned hanging out the washing one day. It was a huge load (it was 2 loads and I have a big machine) and took me about 20 minutes to hang out, and after I came indoors, my arms were red!!! Our summer sun here is VERY hot :)

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