Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reapply every two hours!

So you know how all us mommies worry about everything when it comes to our kids (well, ok, maybe some of us are just worrywarts like that, but we all tend to worry about certain things, right?) I worry about unnecessary sun exposure. I reapply sunblock religiously every two hours when we're outside for long periods of time (in fact, Sasha now asks me to put it on her when she sees the bottle). Well, apparently, I've been using the wrong kind of sunblock this whole time! Yes, I know this probably will not harm my kid in the long run, but I'm just aggravated that this information is not more readily available. Granted we try to stay in the shade and she wears a hat and sunglasses most of the time, I don't see why there are so many "wrong" products out there on the market. Especially when it comes to sensitive baby skin!
This site offers ratings of different sunscreens and  sunblocks and what do you know, the ones we've been using are in the "caution" category. Apparently, there's also a difference between sunscreen and sunblock:
sunscreen is not safe for infants under 6 months old, it is a chemical blocker that gets absorbed into the top of the skin thus reflecting the suns rays and not allowing them to penetrate; sunblock is a physical sunblocker which is safe from the day your child is born up to the very elderly, it is a product that creates a "shield" on the top of your skin and gets absorbed and blocks out the harmful rays.
Also the SPF factor only matters so much, according to this article. Protection of SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of the UVB rays, while SPF 50 protects against about 98 percent. So anything higher than that just seems silly. So then, why, I ask again, are there these products that claim to block nearly all UVB rays?
Off to buy some California Baby sunblock this afternoon! And an extra-wide-rim sunhat for the kiddo.


Anonymous said...

All this stuff gives me a headache. I don't want to expose my kids to the harmful rays, but I am skeeved out at soaking them in so many chemicals on a daily basis. I also believe they need vitamin D (some people claim sunscreen should be applied in the winter, as well!)

So I compromise by having them wear hats, staying in the shade and applying sunscreen once a day, 3-5 times a week.

Now the question: am I getting the best of both worlds, or the worst? Hmmm.

Yuliya A. said...

Oh, who knows! There's so little information out there, or rather there's a lot, but without proper background who am I (or any other average mom) to know which is reliable information?
We do make Sasha wear hats and sunglasses and stay in the shade as much as we can, but there's only so much you can do (especially as they get older - I assume). We do get to play in the sun a little bit - to get vitamin D. I'm going to give this better (supposedly) sunblock a go and just keep reading up on this - after all, you can only try to make the best decisions given your knowledge and background without making yourself completely crazy!

Lori said...

Good to know! We're going on a trip soon and we'll be exposed to lots of sun-- although we typically are anyways since we live in Hawaii!