I was playing outside with my fair haired granddaughter and started to wonder if her skin already has sun damage. She’s only 2 years old, but her family lives outdoors. Her daddy believes in getting them outside from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. It’s especially important to dad during the summer, because we live in Minnesota, and we’re cooped up indoors all winter.
I decided to do some research to find out who is more at risk, what age does skin damage start, and how we can prevent it minus not going outside.
We all have melanin in our skin. The amount of melanin that we have gives us our depth of skin color. The more melanin we have, the more we are protected from the suns UVA and UVB rays. Sad to say, that my fair haired beauty doesn’t have much melanin so she’s at the mercy of the sun.
UVA rays pass through the ozone layer easily and contribute to aging and skin cancer. UVB rays doesn’t pass through the ozone layer as easy but it’s still dangerous. UVB rays contribute to terrible sunburns before the age of 20, cataracts (clouding of the eye lenses), cancer, and negative effects on the immune system. Yes, it also effects our immune system. Click here to read this article from the Chicago Tribune to learn how the sun can suppress our immune system.
Eighty percent of sun exposure happens to us before the age of 18, that means that it’s so important to protect our children’s skin and to teach our children good skin habits. Over exposure or repeat exposure to the sun especially by those who have very little melanin will result in sun damage or sun burns. Terrible sun burns can later turn into skin cancer.
How can we protect children from over sun exposure?
1. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30. I wouldn’t recommend going above an SPF of 30, as I’ve seen children burn from the chemicals found in higher concentrations and chemicals in some products. I feel the most comfortable with Arbonne’s ABC Sunscreen with an SPF of 30. This is great protection for any age and every age person can use this product. Remember to read the instructions and reapply as instructed. It’s a good rule to always reapply sunscreen frequently if babies/kids are in and out of the water. Babies under the age of 6 months shouldn’t be in the sun. Keep them in shaded areas or cover their skin. Their skin is thin and doesn’t have as much protection to the sun. Click here to read this article from Pregnancy Magazine to learn more about Arbonne Baby Care.
2. Avoid the strongest rays of the day which is between 10-4. Even on days when it’s cloudy sun rays still cause the same damage to skin.
3. Use protection such as sun glasses and hats to protect the ears, nose, head, and eyes.
The sun also has benefits as it aids in making Vitamin D, and Vitamin D helps absorb calcium. It’s important to navigate kids outside and keep them moving for physical health and happiness. Just remember to shade, wear glasses and hats, long sleeves when appropriate, try and stay out of the sun from 10-4, and apply an SPF of 30 sunscreen to maintain healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.
Many wishes of healthy sunning to you and your littles this summer!
Lots of ❤️,