Sunscreen

Amanda - posted on 04/15/2011 ( 203 moms have responded )

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Do you apply or make your children apply sunscreen? How often do they wear it? Is it important for children to wear sunscreen? Explain.

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Jodi - posted on 04/26/2011

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OK, I am REALLY sick of hearing "we need vitamin D, so I don't use sunscreen". That's just total crap. You do not NEED a LOT of sun to get adequate vitamin D!!!! What you NEED is a healthy balance, which is totally possible.



The amount of sunshine you need will depend a lot on where you live, because where you live determines the strength of your UVB rays, so there is no SET amount of time you should be in the sun, BUT, you should be aware of where to find the UV index at any particular time where you live. In many cases, in the summer, Vitamin D can be adequate after only 10-15 minutes in the sun, and behond that, sunscreen should be used. In fact, just going about your everyday chores will give you sufficient vitamin D.



Again, it depends where you live, but don't use it as an excuse for not using sunscreen.



I am also with Kathy, a tan is skin trauma. There is no such thing as a healthy tan.



And stop with the "sunscreen has cancer causing chemicals". Ever heard of natural products if you are so concerned about it?

[deleted account]

I'm 39 and have never been a "sun worshiper". I don't tan. I'm a fair skinned, blue eyed redhead who grew up in Florida. Sunscreen has always been my friend, but I have always just worn it if I was at the beach, pool, or outside for long periods of time. I've just been diagnosed with two types of skin cancer (basal cell and melanoma). My cancer didn't come because of massive amounts of sunburns. My cancer came because of all of the small amounts of sun I have gotten over time. My son is fair skinned like I am and from birth, we apply sun screen to him ANY time he'll be outside in the summer and on his exposed parts (hands and face) in the winter. Trust me girls, anyone of any skin color or type, is at risk for skin cancer. My uncle (not blood related) has had it many times and in his youth he was Mister Tall Dark & Handsome.

Something else to keep in mind, for those of you who don't worry about the sun. Skin cancer doesn't JUST come from the sun. It also comes from moles. I'm gonna take this opportunity to inform you all to have any moles or spots on your body that you think might look "suspicious" checked out. Is it dark? Is it scaly? Also, if you draw an invisible line down the center of it (in any direction) it should be basically equal on both sides. Ok, stepping off my soap box now.

Jodi - posted on 04/19/2011

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"Tans are terrible but they sure are beautiful. LOL "

But it is attitudes like this that contribute to the continued trend to *tan* the skin. We need to learn, culturally, to look at pale skin and see that as beautiful and stop promoting tanned skin as an ultimate goal. There is nothing healthy about darker skin unless you were born that way.

Keena - posted on 04/17/2011

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I only apply to my son or myself if we are going to be out for more than 45 mins. He always wears a hat though. I have had a couple of cancerous places removed from my skin, however, I also believe that you have to be very careful when choosing a sun screen. Some of the chemicals can prevent you from burning, but can actually accelerate the growth of skin cancer cells. We are large supporters of simply covering up. Wearing long sleeve Uva/uvb resistant shirts, hats, rash guards, etc goes a long way.

Carolyn - posted on 04/15/2011

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i think it is very important to wear sunscreen i always made my son wear it and he has beautiful healthly skin and now i put it on sky she dont mind it cause it is something we do like putting our seat belts on its a good habit to start always safe

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Krista - posted on 04/28/2011

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Thanks for all of your responses, ladies -- I think we've all answered the OP's question.

Krista
WTCOM Moderator

Marie Jayne - posted on 04/28/2011

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My lo is 28mths and i always make sure she wears it when its sunny, at least 3 times more if she plays in the water, i usually let her put it on herself, but then i make sure i put it on too where shes missed, They usually put it on at the creche each time she goes outside in sunny weather too.

Candice - posted on 04/28/2011

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Yes all 3 of my kids wear sunscreen. We live in Florida and the sun is brutal here.

Cynthia - posted on 04/28/2011

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For people concerned about Vitamin D... I have often thought to myself that they probably absorb quite a bit through their hairline during times they mfht not have a hat on and even when their sunscreen starts wearing off. Don't know but it's a thought that has crossed my mind.

Different experts have different opinions. Some say no amount is safe and some say very small doses are ok. Just as with just about every other parenting topic there are always going to be different experts saying different things. It does get confusing, so I just do my best.

Cynthia - posted on 04/28/2011

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When I say "small amount" I mean rays that come though the living room window and the like. I read an article once that basically said we need to keep our kids basically slathered in sunscreen from the time they wake up until the sun goes down. As I said before I'm uncomfortable with coating them in chemicals constantly, so I dont agree with said article 100%. But yes if my kids are outside they're getting covered with clothing and hopefully natural sunscreen.

Angela - posted on 04/28/2011

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I live in The Netherlands where sunlight is not often and many have a vitamin D deficiency. They do not supplement vitamin D in milk either. So when the sun is out, we go out and I do not apply sunscreen for the first 30 minutes. I was told you need to expose bare arms and face to the sun for 30 minutes to get daily needs of Vitamin D with out sunscreen.
When I lived in Virginia, I used it all the time on my daughter again waiting after 30 minutes.

Cynthia - posted on 04/27/2011

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Yes! I do think it's absolutely necessary. But I don't think a small amount of sun exposure is horrible. I wish there were natural options that weren't so white and messy to apply AND affordable. Last year I spent $20 on ThinkBaby Sport Sunscreen and every single time I applied it I got it on my clothes or white handprints from the kids on my car... It also smelled really medicinal. I got another one from "Jason" that smelled great was clear but had some questionable ingredients. I hate feeling like no matter what I do exposing my kids to
something whether it be sun radiation or chemicals in sunscreen!

Suzanne - posted on 04/27/2011

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my daughter is mixed race and i always put suncream on her. she isn't old enough to make the decision it's up to us as parents.

Jodi - posted on 04/27/2011

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"@Jodi I didn't use it when I was a kid and there is nothing wrong with me. Also something is going to kill us all eventually."



Oh well, in that case, I should just let my kids jump in the car, and cram 8 other people in it (including 2 in the boot) and drive 160km an hour down a country highway......



No, not a good idea? But something has to kill them sometime, right? I mean, I did that stuff and I'm okay.......





Oh, and can I ask how old you are? How do you know you're ok? Most people I know who have had issues with skin cancer have been 40+. That's right - you do ALL that shit when you are young, and when you are in your 40's, it's called payback. Awesome, isn't it? Also one of the reasons I am SOOOOO glad I have always used my sunscreen, moisturised my skin and taken care of myself. Because being in your 40's, it ALL starts to catch up with you. Good luck.

Eram - posted on 04/27/2011

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My son is 2 years old. I have not started using sunscreen yet but plan to ask my local pharmacist and paedatrician for an advice regarding it. We do need sunlight for vitamin D production which our skin produces after at least 20 mins of exposure to sunlight but not all the rays are safe some cause skin cancer as well if long term and regular exposure to sunlight is not hindered.

Krista - posted on 04/26/2011

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@Jodi I didn't use it when I was a kid and there is nothing wrong with me. Also something is going to kill us all eventually.

/headdesk

Jesus wept, Amanda. Some people smoke for 50 years and manage to get away with not getting lung cancer. Does that mean it's healthy? Does that mean that it's something you'd want your kid to do?

As a mother, our JOB is to keep our kids healthy. Neglecting their dermal health, and brushing it off by saying "Something's going to kill us all eventually", is really no better than failing to make them wear their seatbelts and using the same rationale.

Eillim - posted on 04/26/2011

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I let them apply but supervise and help. we usually reapply every 3 hours or so. It is important not only for their health but you don't want sunburned kids crying and complaining at night when you want to sleep!

[deleted account]

Here's a really interesting article about Hispanics and skin cancer:
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/skin/...

One line in the article that struck me is this: "Hispanic Americans may not be as careful with their sun safety habits as their white counterparts, believing that the melanin in their darker skin is protecting them from skin cancer. While skin cancer is less common in people with darker skin, patients often present with an advanced stage, and thus, worse prognosis."

Basically, yes, it's less common for Hispanics and other people with darker skin to develop skin cancer but when they DO (and I assure you, there are many articles about it out there), by the time they notice it, it's already too late or it's not a good prognosis. Why? Because the TAN hides the cancer. If you can't see the worrisome spots because you're so tan, then you don't know they need to be looked at by a doctor.

Natasha - posted on 04/26/2011

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My daughter has very fair skin and red hair so she has worn sunscreen since she was 6 months whenever she goes outside. (Not always in Winter, but a majority of the time) At 20 months she already knows she can't go outside without a hat and sunscreen and if I forget she reminds me! I think it is very important in the Australian sun.

Amanda - posted on 04/26/2011

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@Jodi I didn't use it when I was a kid and there is nothing wrong with me. Also something is going to kill us all eventually. My children are of hispanic heritage so I think there skin is a little more tolerable to your "skin traumatising"

[deleted account]

I think if I hear the phrase "vitamin D deficiency" again I'll scream! Do you guys ever do any research or do you base your decisions on what it says in the paper??

Sadie - posted on 04/26/2011

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Yes my kids do wear sunscreen, they have the hat policy for term 1 and 4, they can't go in the sun if they don't have a hat on, but mine are fair skinned so burn easily. I have stopped putting it on as much as there is such a high incidence of vitamin D deficiency, but over the summer months it's part of their daily routine.

[deleted account]

Absolutely!

And Joy, I should have posted this earlier - thank you for sharing with us what's happening in your life. Through all your sickness and battles, you still have the time and concern to post a warning note to us.I just hope people listen!
All the best.xx

Krista - posted on 04/26/2011

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I just feel the best sunblock is a tan

And I feel like potato chips should be calorie-free.

That doesn't make it so, though.

Tan = damage. It's as simple as that.

Heck, I've always been moderately careful in the sun, but succumbed once or twice to the lure of the tanning bed. I'm now 36, and I have a great big brown splotch on my left cheek from sun damage. It looks like hell, and makes me look like somebody's chain-smoking, bingo-playing great auntie. I'm desperate to get rid of it, and if I could go back in time and kick my own ass for not being more careful, I would.

Cripes, people...we have a member who has posted on this thread who is currently battling freaking SKIN CANCER, and yet y'all are still brushing off the dangers, and yammering on about Vitamin D and safe tans?

I give up.

Jodi - posted on 04/26/2011

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I thought you had, but I couldn't be bothered going back to look for it, LOL. I just keep hearing "vitamin D, vitamin D, vitamin D" like some broken record.

[deleted account]

I've actually posted, somewhere on this thred, the amount of exposure to sun you'd need if you live in various parts of Australia. It's not much.

Kelly - posted on 04/26/2011

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OK this is my thought on the whole sunscreen issue, I feel that the parents should put the sunscreen on so it can be applied all over, we all know that if we let it up to the kids only part of them will be protected. Now this is where im going to get some back lash from some of you but Im just being totaly honest, I start the season off with always using sunscreen and then as the summer goes on I don't re-apply, I let nature take its course and let my kids get a little brown, this way if we are anywhere the sunscreen is not so urgent, I know they wont burn and blister like a child that has never been out in the sun with out sunscreen, I just feel the best sunblock is a tan and the best band-aid is a scab, Im prepaired to get grief.

Jenny - posted on 04/26/2011

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My youngest daughter doesn't like lotions on but I found the trick to get sun screen on her. I put it on as soon as I get her out of her bath before she gets dressed. When we go swimming I put it on before her swimsuit goes on and I buy her the shorts and short sleeve swim shirts. They make cute ones for girls. I don't believe in her wearing a bikini just to look cute. I believe in her looking good for many years to come and not have melanoma and skin cancer and premature wrinkles. She also wears a hat when she is in the water as she doesn't know to swim yet and just sits and plays in the water.

Jenny - posted on 04/26/2011

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Ashley
Sorry but I disagree to some extent. There are sunscreens that do not have all the toxins in. To much sun= skin cancer.

Marlene - posted on 04/26/2011

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Absolutely! I have a redhead who surprisingly tans pretty well but skin cancer is scary stuff. I want to protect him from it while I can.

Rebecca - posted on 04/26/2011

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Absolutely! As soon as they can wear it (6 months). When they are old enough, they can apply it themselves. Have them put it on before they go outside. If they spend an entire day in the sun, they should reapply it at least once.

Jenny - posted on 04/26/2011

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My kids and I wear hats,and sunscreen and they have rash guard swim shirts and shorts. My youngest has very sensitive skin so I use an organic sunscreen that I buy at the health food store. It is expensive than most sunscreens but about the same price as baby aveeno sunscreen. I believe applying sunscreen is very important to protect my childrens skin from harmful rays and they will have healthy young skin. It is harder for me to remeber to put it on myself as I am busy chasing after my kids but it is important for us parents to wear sunscreen too. That way we will have healthy skin and be around to enjoy our children. I have friends who do not apply sunscreen to themselves and they wonder what my secret to looking young is. I believe it is because I use sunscreen and do not sunbathe. There are healthier ways you can get vitamin D, from fresh fruits and veggies and from drinking milk.

Danielle - posted on 04/26/2011

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I apply it first thing in the morning before I send her off to daycare, just in case they don't do it dilligently enough. I would reapply almost every hour depending on how warm it is outside! SOOOOO IMPORTANT!!!!

Asha - posted on 04/26/2011

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No, it can be avoided. In fact should be avoided as they slow down the absorpsion of sunlight and thus vitamin D, which is vital for calcium apsorption by the body for strong skeletal structure during the growing years.

Dana - posted on 04/26/2011

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If we are just in and out of the car/house ... No; my kids are educated about the importance of sunscreen on a daily basis (they see my melanoma and BCC scars) - it is hard to put it on all 3 of them when they will be indoors and the effectiveness will be gone by the time they go to recess. My daughter wears hers in the stroller and her teachers apply it at preschool to the exposed spots. In the summer we have a jug by our back door -- everyone goops up!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/26/2011

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I agree sunscreen and hats and such are necessary to protect us from skin cancer. BUT!!! So is vitamin D which we get from the sun. It is very common to see that people who live in places where there is plenty of sunshine have vitamin D deficiencies, and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. So there must be a happy medium. I allow my 2 year old daughter to run around in the sun in the mornings without all the protection. Once its mid-day, if she's going out in the sun for a long period of time, she does get sunscreen. I say mention this to your pediatrician to see what his/her advice is.

Wilfred - posted on 04/26/2011

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Yes as a dad i th9ink it is crucial to protect children fro the sun. They love playing in it so we (mom and i) use sunscreen every few hours and a min of factor 50 (nearly sunblock) if the sun is to bright or hot ( early midday) we keep the out of the sun using a huge sunscreen over them (think about 15feet across) to protect them from the sun.

Dont want them to get skincancer or burn..

And they wear sunhats as well (both are girls so a nice floweryone looks nice haha)

If not a hat then a cap (baseball like)

Susie - posted on 04/26/2011

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Clothes and shade are a better way to protect your child from the sun. Sunscreens are toxic.

Mazy - posted on 04/26/2011

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My children go outside, so they wear sunscreen. The little one gets a bit on his face & wears a hat & pretty much stays in the shade (he's 4months now), but the older one (almost 2) gets sunscreen all over before he gets dressed in the morning & then again when he gets up from nap time.

[deleted account]

In Australia it is very important to wear sunscreen. There are only a few months in the year, epsecially in Tasmania, where you don't need sunscreen or a hat. Since sunscreen isn't that great for babies (because of the chemicals) we didn't put it on our daugther until she was 6 months (which at the time was the recommended age to start). Before then, we made sure she was covered up and/or had her in the shade. Vitamin D is important though to get (from the sun) so you also have to make sure your kids get sunlight too. In Australia we have a recommended time to keep the kids out of the sun. I think it's roughly from 10 or 11am-2 or 3pm, depending on the time of year. It's worth considering using organic sunscreen. It's a bit more expensive but I think it's worth it. Although I don't want my kids to get skin cancer, I also don't like all the chemicals and 'extras' that are put in sunscreen. I only mentioned what is done in Australia but I'm sure the same principles can apply anywhere. It's certainly a struggle trying to keep our kids safe and healthy sometimes isnt' it!?!?!

Medic - posted on 04/25/2011

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Yes my kids wear sunscreen, its all natural and they wear it year round 90% of the time....even in winter atleast on their hands and faces...oh wait I live in TEXAS...what is winter again?? I am kind of interested in a lotion with SPF in it now that I am reading all these things. Do they make a natural one? Please tell me it does not smell like butt. Haha joking...sort of...I do not wear sunscreen because I don't like the feel I only wear the non oily non sticky non stinky ones..but seriously I am all ears for a good everyday lotion for myself and my kids...maybe hubby too. My kids have the long sleeved rash guards and the long shorts and the hats and they are 4.5years and 15 months.

[deleted account]

Nina, no offense, but you said, "but I also know that skin is created adaptive to the sun because we are humans and we were born on earth, with a sun....I think that children will be safe, or perhaps safer, if we allow them to develop immunities with their own bodies"



You should know, NO ONE IS IMMUNE TO THE SUN. No one. And trust me, I'm not "scolding you on sunscreen usage" but....I actually, at this very moment, HAVE melanoma. That's cancer. It has taken me the last month of my life just to be able to say outloud that "I have cancer". Maybe, just maybe, if my mother had put some SPF on me when I was little, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be looking at a lymph node biopsy and 3 surgeries (knock me out, put me to sleep, stay in the hospital SURGERIES) to HOPEFULLY cure it. Maybe I might not also be making wills and living wills out of fear. Maybe I wouldn't be writing a letter to my 3 year old every day "just in case". I can understand not being obsessive, like you said. But at the same time, it's such a small thing to do. As parents we have so many things we do for our kids 50 times a day. What's one more thing? Especially when that "one more thing" could make such a difference in their health later in life?

Elizabeth - posted on 04/25/2011

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Yes! Very important! It keeps them from being sun burned and in pain from sun burn. And will hopefully keep them from having skin cancer later in life. They wear it any time we are gonna be out in the sun for a considerable amount of time. If they are gonna get wet they put it on every time they get out of the water.

Sally - posted on 04/25/2011

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I only put sunscreen on my 2 year old if we are going to be somewhere we are likely to be in the Sun all day. I am fair skinned and so I don't usually stay out in the sun for very long at a time. I am also aware that I have very low vitamin D levels and that applying sunscreen blocks the body's ability to make vitamin D from the sun. I believe balance is important here and sunscreen should only be used in the middle of the day or when it is very hot.

Jodi - posted on 04/25/2011

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"No I do not want my child to get burnt, but I also know that skin is created adaptive to the sun because we are humans and we were born on earth, with a sun"



You do realise we were also born on this earth with a MUCH thicker ozone layer to protect is from the UV rays produced by that sun too, right?

Liz - posted on 04/25/2011

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Always, my daughter is blessed with biracial skin and tans easily even with sunscreen. But I still feel that she needs to protect her skin. We are all susceptible to skin cancer and you cam still get you Vit D with a little exposure and a great diet.

Tiffany - posted on 04/25/2011

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They probably should...but my kids don't -unless we're at the beach or somewhere that we'll be in direct sunlight for hours and hours.

Bri - posted on 04/25/2011

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important for children to wear sunscreen- yes. Reason- prevents/reduces chances of skin cancer, keeps skin healthier.

important for parents/adults to wear sunscreen- yes. Reason- good for their health too AND sets good example.

put it on when getting dressed in morning, reapply if it's been a few hours and we're heading outside, reapply when we're outside.

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