Is sunscreen safe for babies and kids? Here's the latest on the debate

Is sunscreen safe for babies and kids? Here's the latest on the debate

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Some parents are so unsure that they are opting out of sunscreen altogether. In a our site Community poll, a large portion of moms said they were concerned about the chemicals in traditional sunscreen. As a result, they rely on protective clothing and avoid the sun at peak hours, or use a mineral-based sunscreen instead. In the past year, for the first time, the number of conversations in BabyCenter's Community expressing negative feelings about sunscreen was higher than positive conversations about sunscreen.

Experts are concerned that parents will skip sunscreen, which will leave their children at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. The study's coauthor and director of the FDA's Division of Nonprescription Drug Products, doctor Theresa Michele, said it best when she told NBC News: "These products are used to prevent skin cancer. It's very important from a public health perspective that people use them, especially as skin cancer rates are increasing. Right now, we know that there are benefits from these products, and we don't know if there are any harms."

It can be tough to figure out what's best for your child when you're hearing conflicting information. To help you cut through the chaos, our site culled the reports and spoke to the experts. Here are the five key things to know about sunscreen and protecting your child's skin.

  1. Doctors overwhelmingly recommend sunscreen. Scientists don't know for sure whether sunscreen chemicals pose a long-term risk for you or your child. But scientists do know that sunscreen significantly decreases the risk of sunburns and skin cancer. The FDA, American Academy of Dermatologists, and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend using sunscreens, including chemical ones. Additionally, according to the AAP, "You may want to select a sunscreen that does not contain the ingredient oxybenzone, a sunscreen chemical that may have hormonal properties."
  2. Consider your ingredient options. Sunscreen that's made with the minerals titanium dioxide or zinc oxide stays on top of the skin and physically blocks the sun's harmful rays without being absorbed by the skin. They are also less likely to cause irritations or allergic reactions. Consumer Reports says that some of these sunscreens aren't as effective as chemical sunscreens, but it does recommend California Kids supersensitive Lotion SPF 30+, Badger Active Natural Mineral Cream SPF 30 Unscented, and Goddess Garden Everyday Natural Lotion SPF 30. You can also consult the Environmental Working Group's sunscreen guide for more information on finding safe sunscreens.
  3. Skip homemade sunscreen. There's an abundance of online recipes for making your own sunscreen, especially on social media. Unfortunately, a recent study by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that most DIY recipes don't adequately protect the skin against UV rays.
  4. Use sunscreen correctly. To ensure maximum skin protection, choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and look for the words "broad spectrum" on the label, which means the product protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors, and reapply it every two hours or after time in the water. Throw out expired sunscreen.
  5. Be smart about sun exposure. Sunscreen is just one line of defense against damaging UV rays. For further protection, stay in the shade or limit time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is at its peak. Also opt for broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses with UV protection, and sun-protective clothing.

For more information about sun safety, see all of BabyCenter's medically reviewed advice for keeping it fun in the summer sun.

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: Mehr Sicherheit: So schützt du dein Baby. Wohnung kindersicher machen. Tipps u0026 Tricks (July 2022).


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