Summer is here, the sun is out and kids love to spend all their time outside at the beach, the pool, the park, you name it. Even though little ones have a blast outdoors in the sun, moms tend to worry about the SUN-exposure and a fun activity becomes more of a concern.
We are so concerned about sun exposure that we cover them with sunscreen, swim-shirts (rash-guards) and hats. I know, I do the same, but let’s get this straight kids (we all do) need to get some sun exposure for vitamin D. It’s a must, specially if you live up-north where the rays of the sun are limited during the cold winter months. To get all the benefits you only need to be in the safe-sun for 10-15 min, 3-5 times a week. (The best time to get them exposed to the sun without any protection is before 10am and after 5pm, when the rays of the sun are not that strong = safe-sun).
That being said, kids (and all of us) also need to be aware of the damaging effects the sun can have on our skin (early signs or aging, freckles, and skin cancer). The best way to protect oursleves from the sun is to limit sun exposure, which can be hard during this fun summer months. Always wear a hat when playing outside, try to stay on the share as much as possible and cover your self while on the water with sun-shirts. And please please please, apply sunscreen and re-apply it if they are on the sun or water for longer periods of time. You must be thinking – I already know all this- here comes the tricky part.
Applying sunscreens can be as damaging to your kids as letting them run naked outside during the middle of a sunny day. Sunscreens are filled with chemicals like Oxybenzone, which is a hormone disruptor, or Retinyl Palmitate, a form of vitamin A, that when exposed to the sun can accelerate development of skin tumors (YIKESSSS!)
What to do now? Look for Mineral Sunscreens, made with active ingredients like zinc oxide, avobenzone and Mexoryl SX. My favorites (based on performance and pricing) are Blue Lizard and baby-ganics face stick.