Potential Dangers In Sunscreen

With the unofficial start of summer approaching, it is time to buy sunscreen for your family to keep everyone's skin protected. We all know the importance of sunscreen. Did you know that the type of sunscreen you use, especially on your kids, can be harmful?

Recently, a change was imposed that manufacturers had to state that their sunscreen products were "water resistant" and not "waterproof," citing that it was not a truthful statement.

If you've been in the store recently and looked at all of the products available, the number of them can be overwhelming. You'll find sport, kids, moisturizing, fragrance free, sensitive, ultra defense, light feel and several more! Spray cans of sunscreens are also showing up more often and in as many varieties as the lotions.

The spray sunscreens cause the most concern among some groups when it comes to the health and safety of children, even adults. The FDA is currently reviewing safety and efficacy data for sprays. Some organizations, such as the Environmental Working Group, do not recommend powder and spray sunscreens because of concerns about inhalation.

The safety of inhaling the chemicals found in the sprays is not confirmed, so I would cautiously use these on and around children. If you use a pump or spray sunscreen, lower the inhalation risk by applying it on your hands and then wiping it your and your child's face.

Sunscreen is one part of a sun-healthy lifestyle. Limiting sun exposure and wearing protective clothing are more important. It is especially critical to be careful with young children. An infant's skin is especially sensitive. Sunscreen should not be used on infants. If they are outdoors, keep them completely covered and in the shade. A bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Mayo Clinic states that sunscreens are designed to remain at original strength for up to three years. This means you can use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next. If it has been exposed to extreme heat, it may have lessened the effectiveness.

Here are the rules to remember when applying sunscreen:

  • Apply generously 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors
  • Reapply about every two hours - or more often if you're swimming or sweating
  • Be sure to rub the sunscreen in well
  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun
  • Try to keep older children inside when the sun is at its harshest point of the day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.



About the Author...
Melanie Bloom
In her spare time, you can find Melanie spending time with her husband and their two children, Bryce and Gillian.
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